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Redesigning the experience for United Parcel Service (UPS)

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Case study for an Indian website.


This project has been featured on Bootcamp.

Project Brief

Recreating the platform for an existing online brand/company/corporate with my partner Kunal Nikam by studying its present stature, existing forum and its vision. Using web design process and an understanding of UX and UI, adding essential features to their existing forum.


Disclaimer: This is not affiliated with the official website/organization of UPS. This case study is purely for educational purposes only.


What is UPS?

UPS is a logistics company that provides shipping and freight forwarding services for individuals and businesses. UPS is the world largest package delivery company as well as a leader in the logistics and transportation services market. It offers services in more than 220 countries and territories and has 495,000 employees globally. Why UPS? We chose UPS because it has a great potential in the market as it provides worldwide supply chain design, execution and management, freight forwarding and distribution, customs brokerage, mail and consulting services. There are 8 Air hubs in India -Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Cochin, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. United Parcel Service, Inc. UPS was established in India in 1998. Today, it is the world’s largest package delivery company with 1000 employees and a premier provider of global supply chain management solutions.

Vision, Mission and values of UPS:

  • Grow our global business by serving the logistics needs of customers, offering excellence and value in all that we do.

  • UPS leverages a network of reliable, high quality suppliers to ensure the people and the customers have what they need, when they need it.

  • Maintain a financially strong company-with broad employee ownership that provides a long-term competitive return to our share owners.

  • Inspire Indian people and business partners to do their best, offering opportunities for personal development to all the employees .

Values

  • Integrity

  • Team work

  • Service

  • Sustainability

  • Safety

  • Innovation

  • Quality

  • Efficiency




Purpose of the website: UPS connects people and possibilities. The purpose of a service-based business website is to convince website visitors that they should become customers of the service company. This is done by positioning the company as a dependable, trustworthy and experienced service provider in the target market.

Understanding the stakeholders: Stakeholders give the business practical and a financial support. Stakeholders are people interested in the company, ranging from employees to loyal customers and investors. They broaden the pool who care about the well being of the company.

  • Customers

  • Franchise

  • Suppliers

  • Sponsors

  • Communities

  • Investors

  • Government officials


Target Audience

The demographic segmentation is the best fit for it. UPS serves a diversified group of customer segments, such as businesses and individuals. Hence it has different target markets based on potential consumption of their services. Also People residing in Tier-II and Tier-III cities are the main targets because the brand provides services in an affordable rate.

Analyzing the needs to the brand vs the customers

Needs of the brand:

  • Fast and secure delivery

  • Accuracy

  • Safety

  • Team work

  • Maintain quality of the product

  • Good Connectable routes

  • Tracking system.

  • Smooth working vehicles

Needs of the customer:

  • Safe delivery

  • Timely delivery

  • Cost effectiveness

  • Door delivery

  • Tracking

  • User friendly website

  • Different payment options

  • Customer support


Competitor Analysis

There are a lot of existing companies which are in tough competition with UPS in terms of safety, quality and customer trust. Some of such mega companies giving tough competition to UPS are:

  • FedEx

  • DHL

  • Blue Dart

S.W.O.T Analysis:

Strength

  • Network — UPS reaches out to most corners in India through its widespread network and thus making it the world’s largest logistics company.

  • Target Segment — UPS primarily targets business customers. In fact, the company has a lot of tie-ups with business and acts as their logistics partner. This helps them own a more sustainable business model and focus on the limited set of customers while getting more business value.

  • Global Presence — UPS serves customers across more than 220 nations. UPS is the largest market served by UPS. It is making global deliveries possible for its customers with ease.

  • Focus on Technology and innovation -UPS in India has also maintained heavy focus on technology and innovation for growth and better customer service. It invests a large sum every year in technology including information technology, aircraft, vehicles.

  • Strong dealer community — It has built a culture among distributors & dealers where the dealers not only promote the company’s products but also invest in training the sales team to explain to the customer how he/she can extract the maximum benefits out of the products.

  • Maximizing network — UPS manages all its businesses, such as air, ground, domestic, international, commercial, and residential through a single pickup and delivery network. The single network structure has allowed UPS to gain competitive strengths by maximizing network efficiency and asset utilization.

  • Speedy and Secured delivery.

  • Caring towards their employees.


Weakness

  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of UPS are below the industry average.

  • Poor revenue management — With more and more customers choosing to spend on online shopping, the revenues of United Parcel Services have dipped.This poor revenue management has been the major weakness of United Parcel Services.

  • Management of traffic — United Parcel Services has been facing a lot of challenges in managing traffic. As the company faces a new challenges in tracking as well as invoicing of orders.

  • FedEx — The biggest competition for United Parcel Services has always been FedEx. Currently, FedEx has around 65 % market share of the express market and UPS has only 36 % of the express market. UPS has always been trying to compete with their nearest competitor and to secure a higher market share which in turn is diverting their interest from other areas.

  • Over dependence on US Markets — US is the largest market of United Parcel Service and accounts for the largest part of its revenue. However, that leaves the brand too dependent on the US for revenue and growth.


Opportunities

  • Digital marketing opportunities — Digital technology has brought excellent new opportunities for businesses all around the world. Marketing, customer engagement, supply chain and in several more areas digital technology has brought great opportunities for businesses. UPS spends a lot on IT infrastructure. It can use it for better customer relationship management as well as for promotions.

  • Employee engagement — Digital technology, AI etc present new opportunities for engaging employees. While the brand invests a lot in employees, it is important to engage them using digital methods.

  • New environmental policies — The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represents a great opportunity for UPS to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.


Threats

  • Competitive threat — Competition has grown from both small and big brands. DHL and FedEx are two major competitors of UPS. Higher competition has led to higher expenditure on marketing and other things

  • Economic fluctuations in the international markets — UPS operates in the international markets which subjects it to economic pressures. Currency fluctuations as well as changing economic situations in various markets can create pressures related to revenue and income.

  • Shortage of skilled workforce in the Indian markets represents a threat to steady growth of profits for UPS.

  • As the company is operating in numerous countries it is exposed to currency fluctuations especially given the volatile political climate in a number of markets across the world.

In-Store customer benefits

UPS Store

  • Special packaging by UPS.

  • Shipping promise with best time service and safety.

  • Responsible for refunds of damaged products.

  • Health Care benefits to Employees.

  • Customers using UPS for the first time — would get the benefit of flat 25% off.

  • Customers using UPS for the first time — would get free delivery for a package less that 1.5 kg.

  • Student Educational document offer on first international shipment flat 30% off.


What is prohibited ?

  • Animal skin / Fur / Animal organs and parts / Ivory and ivory products Goods with a particularly high value (e.g. artworks, antiques, precious stones, gold and silver).

  • Fireworks

  • Fluids — Adhesives / Paint

  • Firearms / Swords / Knives / Weapons

  • Live animals

  • Money

  • Plants and seeds

  • Tobacco and tobacco products / Drugs / Medications / Alcohol

  • Fire extinguishers

  • White goods


Restricted Goods

  • Furniture (except when flat-packed)

  • Engines — Generators and / or components containing oil (unless rinsed)

  • Batteries — Except dry batteries

  • Glass / Ceramics / Porcelain / Marble / Resin / Stone — or any product containing any of these materials

  • Computers / Laptops / Monitors / TFT screens

  • Televisions / LCD Screens / Plasma screens / projectors etc.


How to join a Franchise ?

Stage No 1: Deciding to become a The UPS Store owner Stage No 2: Finding the right market for you Stage No 3: Franchise application process Stage No 4: Selecting your site and negotiating a lease Stage No 5: Securing financing for your location Stage No 6: Getting ready to run your business Stage No 7: Managing the initial day-to-day operations Stage No 8: Networking with other franchise owners Stage No 9: Ongoing management

What would be the Benefits of the franchisee ?

Strong advantages:

  • The UPS Store centers are locally owned so our customers — both small business owners and local consumers can enjoy the amazing services and capabilities of a national brand while supporting other business owners in their community.

  • The UPS Store is about a lot more than shipping, they help the customers with services like faxing, notarizing, copying, shredding, business and personal mailboxes, packing, passport and ID photos, design and a host of small business services.

  • National advertising campaigns: Build and maintain a prominent level of brand awareness with communications designed to drive traffic for The UPS Store brand — either to our centers or our websites.

  • Co-op communications: Activate the power of The UPS Store brand at a local level through customized/localized promotions and business-building activities. These communications complement the national communications and utilize the same key messages, look, tone and feel.

  • Local store marketing: Implemented by every The UPS Store center owner and supported by our franchise system. Activities include out-of-center communications designed to drive center traffic, up-selling customers to increase sales, improving customer service and creating a loyal customer base.

  • Approximately 52 percent of our franchisees own more than one center. For qualified franchisees, we may offer reduced franchise fees and specialized training to help you expand.


Research

Quantitative Research: A survey with the help of Google Forms was done and sent to people, keeping in mind our target audience. Hence, a lot of information was gathered through this survey, out of which answers(statistics) to a few questions are stated below:

Understanding the key Problems:

  • Even though the website is quite informative it lacks in terms of navigation.

  • The primary banner image on the homepage makes the first impression of the website unattractive. The website also has poor grid and alignment.

  • Poor use of color, typeface and grids.

  • The options in the “quick start menu” have been repeated in the services menu and in the footer which is unnecessary.

  • Spacing in the website is not properly used.

  • The footer is incomplete.

  • The news and information section present on the homepage has horizontal scrolling.

  • There is a glitch in the “play buttons” above the news and information section.

  • The website has both vertical and horizontal scrolling at the same time which is really confusing to understand the flow of the website.

  • The website doesn’t have any explanatory visual content/videos as to make the users understand what the company actually deals with.

Proposed Solutions:

  • As from the survey and our research we have tried to make our website easy and more interactive to the users.

  • The primary banner image on the homepage of the website is unattractive, so we tried to add an image which will be attractive and more connective to the users.

  • Grid and alignment of the website is also improved to make it look very neat and clean.

  • We have included primary and secondary colours in the website.

  • Use of vertical scrolling has been taken into consideration.

  • The web pages are more centrally aligned and more sorted visually.

Information Hierarchy

Navigation Flow

Style Guide

Wireframes


Prototypes


Home page

Login Page

Create a Shipment page

Store page

Location page


Alternative Platform




Conclusion This project was one of the most interesting journeys I’ve been on with something new to learn at every step. Considering UX a lengthy process, the learning curve has been greatly an interesting one. Finding a proper solution to the problem of user experience was indeed the given task. This was definitely a challenging project, but what’s a project without a challenge, right?




















































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