DISCUSSION: UPS partners with retailers in launch of Groupon-like rewards program

UPS has launched the UPS My Choice Deals site offering retailers a platform to reach its more than 43 million UPS My Choice members with special deals and discounts.

By Tom Ryan

This article is republished courtesy of RetailWire, one of our valued media partners. Click here to read the full discussion…

Introduced in 2011, the UPS My Choice service enables consumers to receive estimated arrival and progress alerts, sign for packages in advance, set vacation holds or change delivery addresses.

Representing the first non-shipping perk for UPS My Choice members, the UPS My Choice Deals site lists more than 500 special offers ranging from shopping discounts to cash back on eligible purchases.

Looking similar to Groupon, the site is filled with exclusive offers, hot new offers, go green deals and local deals as well as those sorted by category (Restaurants, Apparel & Accessories, Food, etc.). The most popular deals currently include $60 in savings for signing up for Costco membership, $19 off per Disneyland ticket and up to $250 off Samsung products at Walmart.

UPS displays the deals for customers in banner ads attached to delivery notifications. Consumers can head to UPSMyChoiceDeals.com or access the deals site through their UPS My Choice login. Guests not logged in can use the deals site but won’t have access to some deals or any cash-back offers

The deal perks are designed to make both consumers and retailers more loyal users of UPS, as the service works to compete with FedEx and the ever-looming Amazon.

“The UPS My Choice Deals site helps connect retailers and shoppers by providing a platform for great deals through a convenient member-exclusive marketplace,” said Jerome Roberts, UPS’s VP of global product innovation in a statement. “Retailers benefit from access to the UPS My Choice membership base, including loyal, savvy online shoppers and coveted new customers. It can be a great tool to drive engagement and sales.”

UPS has set up a pay-for-performance compensation model for retailers. UPS earns a commission on the deals for promoting the products and benefits when customers link deliveries to deal purchases.

“If you are receiving something from Macy’s, you’ll have an additional deal from Macy’s right there in your alert,” Stu Marcus, UPS VP of customer technology marketing, told Reuters.

Discussion Questions: How would you rate the appeal of the UPS My Choice Deals site for consumers and for retailers? Will it improve loyalty between UPS and its retail customers and consumers?

Comments from the RetailWire BrainTrust:

To gain access to 43 million consumers certainly should have appeal for retailers but to further propagate the discount culture is worrisome. Groupon has proven that beyond the initial sale, it hasn’t been very effective at creating follow up sales (i.e. loyalty). For the consumers, it’s a win for sure. More opportunity to get products at a discount will certainly have appeal — there just has to be relevance in the offer (i.e. your speakers are arriving Tuesday, here is an offer for speaker wire and a new receiver.)
David Weinand, Chief Customer Officer, Incisiv

 

Words I don’t think you want associated with your brand: “Groupon” and “discount.”
Bob Phibbs, President/CEO, The Retail Doctor

 

I love this idea for the simple reason that whenever I interact with my usual UPS drivers at my doorstep I find them to be extremely friendly and courteous. To be able to chat with them about these perks should add another level of personal customer service to what UPS offers.
Kim Garretson, Advisor, MyAlerts

 

This seems to have a simpler explanation: UPS has a database and a platform that can be leveraged by placing ads on real estate that is already in front of a target customer. They are simply selling that real estate. Will it create more loyalty to UPS? I doubt significantly, but that would be a nice add-on to the real purpose which is to monetize perceived high-value real estate.
Mike Osorio, Principal, Osorio Group LLC dba Mike Osorio Consulting

Read the entire RetailWire discussion:
https://goo.gl/e2gxqx

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