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The UPS Store, Inc. is the world’s largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal, printing and business service centers. Each of The UPS Store outlets are locally owned and operated, and offer a variety of shipping, freight, postal, digital online printing, document and business services.
The UPS Store thrives behind the commitment of its franchisees to supply personalized and convenient business solutions and a world-class customer experience. However, The UPS Stores’ web presence did not replicate that same standard of excellence. Each of the 4,300 stores was operating on a platform that lacked usability and the technology to keep pace with the changing digital engagement landscape. The design template was outdated and did not meet the engaging service synonymous with the The UPS Store brand.
The UPS Store corporate marketing team sought a new solution to manage its web properties that offered ahead-of-the-curve functionality with the ability for users to easily personalize content to execute local marketing initiatives; oversight controls for corporate to maintain brand control; best-in-class local search techniques to increase website traffic organically; a committed support staff; and developers that incessantly look for new, innovative ways to improve their web presence.
The UPS Store team selected Bridgeline Digital’s iAPPS ds (distributed subscription) as its preferred platform to power The UPS Stores’ next generation websites. The iAPPS ds platform empowers UPS corporate to facilitate publishing on each of The UPS Stores’ distributed websites while providing for controlled autonomy at the local store level. This centralized model allows corporate marketing to sustain brand control, while simultaneously featuring customizable options that give each of The UPS Store owners the opportunity to personalize content to infuse a local appeal that caters to their community.
Another critical aspect to the ingenuity behind iAPPS ds is its ease-of-use. Whether it’s video, pictures, or text, The UPS Store owners are able to publish polished content without consultation from IT experts. “The iAPPS platform is very versatile and easy to edit for customizing the website to suit our store offerings,” said Kiran Mirsa of The UPS Store in Carlsbad, CA.
Finally, multiple studies show specified content that speaks to local communities has the potential to directly improve a company’s conversion rate. According to Balihoo, a marketing firm, 73% of online search is related to local content. Additionally, according to Google, nine out of 10 smartphone searches result in an action (e.g. purchase, visiting a business, etc.). iAPPS ds features built- in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) functionality and a mobile-ready platform that positions The UPS Store owners to take advantage of these trends.
Using Bridgeline Digital’s support website, The UPS Store owners could submit a simple online form to transition their web properties onto the iAPPS ds platform. Bridgeline Digital also broadcasted interactive training sessions multiple times a day to accommodate new users. “The availability and technical expertise of the customer support team at Bridgeline digital was awesome,” Mirsa said.
Within just three months, every single one of the 4,300+ The UPS Store outlets converted their website onto the iAPPS ds platform.
iAPPS ds was developed leveraging superior SEO tactics which ensure the visibility of The UPS Stores’ virtual storefront is optimized. Additional SEO features include automated 301 redirects, and local information that the search engines use (Sitemap. xml, Robot.txt) to scan and index each site. These functions, combined with a mobile- ready site, drives search engine rank for local and mobile searches. At the end of the day, what matters most to the UPS Store franchisees is maximizing the foot traffic into their store and having its own website with best-in-class SEO capabilities is crucial to attracting local customers to their outlet.
Furthermore, each of the 4,300+ The UPS Store websites was built using Responsive Design, a mobile-friendly approach which enables websites to detect the size of a visitor’s viewing screen and trigger content to automatically adjust to fit the screen accordingly. By implementing Responsive Design, The UPS Stores are accessible to customers anytime, anywhere, no matter what device they are using.
The iAPPS ds platform is setup to leverage this technology and deliver results. The UPS Store owners now have a future-proof platform that thrives in digital engagement and strengthens their bottom line.