It’s hard to deny that we rely on digital communication. From the moment we wake up, we are tied to our phones and computers, waiting for the next important email, instant message, text, or phone call. But this behavior has extended to realms outside of work as well. At restaurants, we use QR codes to pull up menus, we opt for self-checkout at the grocery store when there’s a long line, and we order new clothing or gadgets directly from social media now.
Forward-thinking postal operators have noticed this trend. They know that to remain competitive, Posts will need to find innovative ways to integrate more digital and self-service technologies into their strategy. Let’s look to our 2021 Future of Posts report which analyzes the insights of 151 respondents from 70 national postal offices around the world. The report explores how Posts have been thinking about digital service, self-service kiosks, network expansion and more.
Nearly 60% of Posts intend to implement self-service kiosks in both physical post offices and other locations—an increase from last year. Interestingly, only 25% of the respondents from our survey are placing these self-service kiosks in post offices. This could suggest Posts want to make it more convenient for customers, placing kiosks near places of work or where customers may be running other errands.
You might be wondering why Posts would opt not to install new or additional self-service kiosks. Well, nearly a quarter of respondents already have self-service kiosks in place. And 18% were concerned with the cost of self-service kiosks. While that is a legitimate budgetary consideration, this percentage was 58% last year! Such a stark difference indicates that self-service kiosks are certainly becoming more justifiable in terms of their return on investment, especially given the surge in parcel volumes and higher transaction volumes.
58% of Post leaders are looking to develop mobile-friendly technologies in the coming years. With a flexible infrastructure, mobile-first Posts will have the ability to rapidly expand and contract in response to customer demand. At the same time, mobile technologies enable Posts to provide superior service, allowing customers to complete postal transactions from their phone, from tracking a parcel, to changing a delivery window, to requesting a shipping label for their package and more.
Along those lines, 32% of Posts feel that ecommerce delivery services will be an important area of opportunity. By offering easy return services, PUDO locations, and alternative access to delivery services, Posts can get packages where they need to go faster, all while improving relationships with their customers and partners. 26% of Posts are focusing inward, upgrading their existing counter terminal functionality with self-service capabilities to reduce the time customers spend in line. And finally, 24% of Posts are planning to use data analytics to enhance the customer experience and create cross and up selling opportunities.
Meeting customers where they are is key to promoting connection and engagement. Giving customers the option to pick up a package at a locker near their home, drop off a return at a PUDO location close to the office, or track the delivery of their recent purchase directly from their smart phone lets them feel more empowered and in control. Not only do more self-service options and larger, variable-cost networks positively impact the customer experience, but they also decrease operational costs and free up time for Posts to focus on more revenue-generating activities.
Get the Future of Posts 2021 Report
Learn more about postal operators’ plans for self-service kiosks, digital services and more by downloading the Future of Posts Report today.