Some retailers launched online deals well in advance of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Consumers can use the tool to track packages and also reroute or reschedule deliveries.
UPS today launched an iPad app that lets users of its personalized delivery service, called My Choice, choose a day and time of delivery to their home address from their iPads. UPS My Choice Premium users, who pay $40 a year for services such as guaranteed two-hour delivery windows, can also use a delivery planner to manage and track deliveries in the app.
Consumers not signed up for MyChoice can use the app to track packages and find UPS shipping locations.
The app is the latest enhancement to UPS’s My Choice. The service addresses a common problem for online shoppers and retailers: regardless of how fast a retailer gets a package to a recipient’s address, a delivery can be delayed for a day or more if a consumer isn’t home to receive a package, a UPS spokesman says. By giving consumers more control over when and where they receive packages, retailers can ensure their fast fulfillment service satisfies the customer by hitting a targeted delivery time.
The basic MyChoice service, which is free, gives consumers approximate delivery times and pending delivery alerts via e-mail, phone calls or text messages. It also lets them request to have a package held at a UPS shipping center; for a $5 fee per request, they can request delivery at a particular time or to a UPS Store or other address.
UPS says that it’s adding the iPad app because so many consumers have tablet consumers—31% of American adults own a tablet, according to a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey.
“The new app allows our customers to more easily view and manage their shipments from an iPad,” says Stu Marcus, vice president of customer technology marketing at UPS.
FedEx Corp., UPS’s main rival, offers a similar service to MyChoice called FedEx Delivery Manager that enables residential customers willing to pay extra fees to better control when FedEx will deliver packages to them.