Today, UPS makes 11 million deliveries daily from online activity. The 84-year-old shipping company claims 55% of all North American online purchases, according to Zona Research, Redwood City, Calif., while FedEx Corp. has 10%.
And what of Mr. Hayes? The 44-year-old UPS executive has risen to VP-brand management, guiding marketing activity for the overall UPS brand.
Mr. Hayes initially knew it would take more than clever advertising to sell consumers on UPS' online service. To demonstrate its capabilities, UPS opened Brown & Brown Collectibles (onlinestore.ups.com), a simple online business where customers could place real orders for UPS memorabilia or just place mock orders to test-drive UPS' system.
UPS created two versions of Brown & Brown-one for business managers and one for tech managers, since both groups were interested but had different perspectives. "The critical thing is that when the customer came to us and said that's a need we have, we had the selling and technical resources to make it a reality for them," Mr. Hayes says.