Escher releases third annual Future of Posts Survey, highlighting the need for technology that drives greater cost efficiencies, revenue opportunities
Parcels, cross border e-commerce, and technology innovation rank as top investment priorities for postal operators.
June 18, 2020
By PLA Editor
Escher, the global leader transforming postal operators and couriers, today announced the results of its third annual Future of Posts survey. Composed of feedback from a total of 129 respondents from 52 national posts from all over the world, the Future of Posts 2020 report reveals parcels and cross border e-commerce are taking precedence over traditional services such as mail. The survey results indicate a continued need to manage growing postal e-commerce traffic with greater emphasis on the last mile and supporting retailers.
Postal networks adapted to global pandemic
The postal network sector will be forever changed after the global pandemic of 2020. An overwhelming 83 percent of Posts indicated that they had adopted a new solution or new approach in order to adjust to the new environment. It’s clear postal operators across the world are experiencing pressure to re-shape their strategies in order to meet the evolving needs of today’s customers.
Parcels and cross-Border e-commerce are top priorities
Investment in the parcels business over the next five years is highlighted as the highest priority for postal operators, in line with last year’s survey where 90 percent of Posts stated the same. Respondents reveal a need to act quickly in order to capture the explosive growth in the parcel delivery market. Cross border e-commerce is the second most important investment priority, followed by technology innovation and customer experience.
In general, the results indicate that Posts must balance the need to introduce further user-friendly cross border e-commerce service features with continued reliance on traditional physical points of service. Our research reveals that the Posts who will be best positioned for the future are those who invest in diversifying their channel mix and take advantage of artificial intelligence to collect and analyze data for improving the efficiency of business and providing more satisfying user experiences.
“This year was one like no other and there is no denying that the world as we know it – at least for the foreseeable future – has changed drastically,” explained Nick Manolis, CEO, Escher. “Posts everywhere continue to demonstrate to the world just how essential they are, delivering critical packages, and preserving access to vital deliveries even under the most challenging circumstances. The results from this year’s survey clearly show business priorities are moving towards initiatives that drive greater efficiencies, improve customer retention, and yield greater revenue opportunities.”
Other highlights from the 2020 Report:
- Opportunity in Data Analytics: Similar to last year, respondents share a concerning gap in data analytics. With 52 percent of postal operators using data analytics, and another 17 percent planning to implement a platform within the next 12 months, there is a tremendous opportunity for Posts to leverage data analytics and AI-based technology in order to reduce costs and expand revenue opportunities.
- Cross Border Growth a Priority: While cross border e-commerce ranked as the second overall priority for Posts across the globe, nearly a fifth of the respondents ranked this area as most critical to their success. Posts cited real-time tax and duty estimation solutions, cost transparency, and transit times as obstacles to optimizing their cross border e-commerce offerings.
- POS Diversification: Postal operators cite the top reason for increasing Point of Sale channels is to improve customer experiences. As a result, over three-quarters of Posts plan to expand their POS channels within the next 12 months, compared with only 68 percent in last year’s survey. Most likely to be added are self-service kiosks and mobile apps.
- Preparation for Parcel Volume Increase: Up from 83 percent last year, 87 percent of Posts have plans in place for managing the growth in e-commerce postal traffic, revealing that nearly all postal operators expect an increase in parcel volumes.
Escher’s Future of Posts 2020 Report will be fully available the week of 22 August 22 at Escher’s official website.