The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has released a new e-commerce guide for postal operators to underscore the role of mobile technology.
According to the guide, mobile online shopping has grown considerably since its Postal E-Services Survey in 2012.
Based on statistics, in the USA alone, 79% of smartphone users made an online purchase using their mobile device in the past six months.
The guide charts the expansion of postal operator apps, with only 16 adopting apps in 2012, but had grown to 57 by 2017.
The figures show that postal operators recognize the trend, but face problems because smartphones are relatively expensive and mobile internet penetration is low in some areas.
Despite this, in Africa, postal operators are adopting cell phone apps in their e-services to take advantage of the consumer trend.
Daniel Nieto, UPU digital inclusion and policy expert, said, “By adopting the latest mobile technologies customers are voicing their desire for easy shopping. This sentiment is driving growth in mobile shopping and it is a trend that postal operators must not ignore.”
Elsewhere, the guide highlights the strong connection between postal operators and participation in e-commerce and offers updated information on business models, delivery services and tools.