The Postal Service Web site, usps.com, broadens access to products, services, and information. The site received 386 million visits, a 24 percent increase from 2006. Content enhancements and the addition of new applications continue to drive growth.
Customers can create professional direct mail online from anywhere using Click2Mail. It saves the effort of addressing, collating, sorting, and posting. Customers have four services from which to choose: Premium Postcards, Mailing Online, CardStore, and Mover’s Postcards. The mailer chooses a format – postcard, letter, selfmailer, or greeting card – and, through usps.com, the Postal Service does the rest. Each mailpiece is personalized, printed, and in the mail the next business day.
The Postal Store on usps.com is the primary source for online customers to obtain mailing services and shipping supplies. Revenue from the Postal Store surpassed $210 million, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. About 2.8 million customers made a purchase this year. The site is responsible for 71 percent of shipments from the Stamp Fulfillment Services Center in Kansas City and 78 percent of expedited shipping supplies.
Since 2002 when the Postal Service introduced Click-N-Ship online shipping, there has been continuous growth in the number of users and revenue. From the convenience of their homes or offices, customers can use stored addresses to create labels with and without postage, and then click on a link to schedule a Carrier Pickup, saving time and a trip to the Post Office. Several new features were added in 2007, including the Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice, which lets online shippers and their customers know that packages are on the way. Every package in a shipment is linked with one barcode.
Online tools made international mailing easy for customers by combining a mailer’s customs form and address label into one, easy to- complete document for Express Mail International and Priority Mail International. The Postal Service also rolled out Click-N-Ship service for packages destined to Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office, and Pacific Island addresses.
Postage Technology and Secure Electronic Services
Postage meters and PC Postage services provide another postage payment option. Today, these services integrate options such as insurance and Delivery Confirmation with postage payment, and make it even easier to print labels and account for postage. PC Postage continues to grow in popularity, with more than a 40 percent increase in revenue and nearly a 30 percent increase in registered users.
In 2007 the first new postage meter provider was approved in over 50 years. Existing meter companies continued to submit new information-based indicia (IBI) postage meters for approval. IBI postage meters produce a digital two-dimensional barcode that includes postage payment and other related service information. IBI meters now account for 56 percent of all meters and produce over 74 percent of all meter revenue.
The Postal Service launched the fourth phase of its Customized Postage market test this year. Customized Postage utilizes PC Postage technology to personalize postage by uploading a digital image that can be printed with an IBI. This service is provided directly to customers by authorized companies. The fourth phase includes the authority to offer First-Class Mail presort postage. Customers purchased 35 million Customized Postage stamps this year.