Postal Operators Deliver on E-Commerce
Parcels and cross-border e-commerce take precedence over traditional services, such as mail, for postal operators, according to Escher's Future of Posts 2020 report. Operators also say they need to continuously manage growing postal e-commerce traffic, with a greater emphasis on the last mile and supporting retailers. The survey results also indicate:
- Postal networks adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. An overwhelming 83% of postal operators say they adopted a new approach to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Parcels and cross-border e-commerce are the top priorities. Investment in the parcels business is the No. 1 priority for most postal operators in 2020, which is consistent with Escher's 2019 survey. Cross-border e-commerce is the second most important investment priority, followed by technology innovation and customer experience.
- Leveraging technology. Postal networks must balance the need to implement user-friendly, cross-border e-commerce services with continued reliance on physical service locations, the research says. Operators that invest in diversifying their channels and use artificial intelligence to analyze data will be best positioned for the future.
- Point-of-sale diversification. Postal operators say the No. 1 reason for increasing point-of-sale channels is to improve the customer experience. More than 75% of postal networks plan to expand those channels in the next 12 months, compared with only 68% in 2019. The go-to solutions include self-service kiosks and mobile apps.
- Preparing for parcel volume increase. Up from 83% in 2019, 87% of postal operators say they have plans in place for managing the growth in e-commerce postal traffic, indicating that nearly all postal operators expect an increase in parcel volumes.