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Hottest Trend in eCommerce: Alternate Shipping Options

Shipping is often the make it or break it portion of an ecommerce sale. Cost of shipping, length of time and delivery method all come into play. Amazon jumped ahead of the pack by offering free 2-day shipping with their Prime membership. BestBuy and other online / offline retailers allow you to buy online and then pick-up at the store. Amazon’s version of that is buy online and pick up via a locker at Staples.

Now we have ShopRunner, a third-party program that is all about getting your e-purchases delivered cheap, fast and safe with PickupPoints.

To prove the need, ShopRunner commissioned a study and found that 75% of Americans are concerned about having packages delivered to their homes.

Biggest worries?

52% said theft

45% worried about missing the delivery because they weren’t home

43% worried about damage due to weather (and given the recent hurricane and snow storms, they have good reason to be concerned!)

When you factor in the notion that a huge portion of yearly sales occur during the holiday (aka winter) season, you can see why alternative delivery options are so important.

ShopRunner says that 52% of shoppers would increase their online spending if they had a secure, weather-controlled place for delivery. That’s why they added PickupPoints to their service.

With PickupPoints, shoppers buy from a list of well-known, partner retailers and their package is delivered to an alternate location. In this case we’re talking Toys “R” Us or a 7-Eleven.

I don’t think I’d care to battle through the parking lot and lines at the Toys “R” Us to pick up my Drugstore.com order but 7-Eleven is a real winner. Despite their name, many 7-Eleven stores are open 24-hours and they’re designed for quick turnarounds. Stopping by to get a soda or coffee in the morning, grab your delivery from Calvin Klein while you’re there and go!

Currently, the option is only available in Philadelphia but it should be a big hit. And it’s a win-win for everyone. Having a safe delivery option should increase sales for the online retailer and the pick-up point will likely sell a few items to the shopper as well.

So where do we go from here? Is there any way we can make online shopping even more convenient and stress-free? I’d love to hear your thoughts.