Escher, a global leader transforming postal operators and couriers, has published the results of its fifth annual Future of Posts survey. The Future of Posts 2022 Report highlights insights from a total of 284 respondents from 91 national postal operators from around the world. This survey came as businesses were emerging from pandemic operations and makes it clear that Posts continue to focus on the opportunity presented by e-commerce and customer-focused priorities.
The Last Mile is Key
The survey results clearly indicate that Posts are investing in technologies that ensure delivery is as fast and efficient as possible. Posts are focused on last-mile delivery (41%) as their top investment priority, followed by digital transformation (37%), according to the Future of Posts 2022 survey. Posts realise that staying connected with their customers and in tune with their needs requires constant attention. As a result, customer experience also ranked high (34%), with Posts investing heavily in this area over the next three years.
E-Commerce Will Have Greatest Impact
83% of Posts believe that e-Commerce will have the greatest impact on their business over the next five years. Mobile technologies (37%), automation (24%), data analytics (23%), and smart parcel lockers (21%) are also expected to have a big impact on postal operations, according to the survey.
The survey paints a picture of a current and future landscape that is focused on customer-centric, self-service, and out-of-home delivery options. Posts’ current retail network strategies are focused on parcel lockers (62%), parcel shops/PUDO (43%), and self-service terminals (34%). Over the next three years, online stores are expected to be a key POS channel for Posts driven by e-Commerce and the pandemic. Self-service will continue to be a major theme for Posts as well, with smart lockers, self-service kiosks, and “start at home, finish in branch” all noted as key expansion channels.
“E-Commerce parcels are clearly a driving force, influencing Posts’ investment decision now and into the future,” said Brody Buhler, CEO, Escher. “To sustain ecommerce growth, Posts must commit to investing in last mile delivery innovation. Transforming their delivery and retail networks to make them more market relevant is just as important as the investments they are making to expand capacity. These changes are needed to ensure they keep costs under control and the customer front and centre at all times.”
Other Highlights from the 2022 Report:
Cost Reduction Initiatives: With respect to their retail networks, Posts indicated they will reduce costs by leveraging workforce management (43%), self-service (32%), new PUDO locations (29%), and analytics (28%). In terms of reducing costs for delivery networks, last-mile route optimisation (51%) is the most favoured method of reducing costs, followed by workforce management and optimisation (46%) and automation (43%).
Top Revenue Making Initiatives: e-Commerce was revealed as an area with the highest revenue-making potential for Posts. Third-party logistics and government services are also ranked high, providing Posts with new services and growth opportunities.
Data Utilisation: Utilisation of data analytics among Posts is high this year. 77% of Posts use data analytics to understand operational efficiencies and potential adjustments. Improving customer experience (70%) is also an area of focus for Posts followed by optimising last-mile delivery (69%).
CLICK HERE to download Escher’s Future of Posts 2022 report.