Annual report highlights importance of cross-border e-commerce

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A desire for technology that drives cost efficiency and cross border e-commerce is a priority for postal operators, according to a new survey by Escher, which supplies software platforms for postal and logistics organizations.

Its Future of Post survey is based on feedback from 129 respondents from 52 national posts services around the world and states that parcels and cross border e-commerce are taking precedence over traditional services such as mail. Additionally, the survey results indicate a continued need to manage growing postal e-commerce traffic with greater emphasis on the last mile and supporting retailers.

According to the company, 83% of posts indicated that they had adopted a new solution or approach in order to adjust to the changed business environment created by Covid-19. Respondents highlighted that investment in the parcels business over the next five years was the highest priority for postal operators, and also revealed a need to act quickly in order to capture the explosive growth in the parcel delivery market.

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. Escher said that its research shows that the posts that will be best positioned for the future are those that invest in diversifying their channel mix and take advantage of artificial intelligence to collect and analyze data, 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 toward initiatives that drive greater efficiencies, improve customer retention, and yield greater revenue opportunities.”

The company noted that, in common with the findings of earlier reports, respondents share a concerning gap in data analytics. With 52% of postal operators using data analytics, and another 17% planning to implement a platform within the next 12 months, it stated there is a tremendous opportunity for posts to leverage data analytics and AI-based technology in order to reduce costs and expand revenue opportunities.

Escher’s Future of Posts 2020 Report is available for download here.

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