If you’re like most people – say, the 64 percent of American adults who own at least one smartphone, according to Pew Research – you probably do a fair amount of online browsing wherever you happen to be. Increasingly, mobile is not just an extension of the web experience but rather the focal point of it: All signs point to mobile driving e-commerce’s future growth.

Way back in 2009, the U.S. Postal Service developed USPS Mobile, an app that allows consumers to find the nearest Post Office, schedule a pick-up, put their mail on hold, or track packages. USPS Mobile is comparable to apps developed by Postal Service competitors, but a new white paper we’ve just released has found that the time is ripe for the Postal Service to “catapult its mobile offerings from functional to fantastic.”

Working with a digital-mobile strategy expert and a marketing analysis firm, we identified five ways to enhance USPS Mobile and five new apps. These 10 ideas could help the Postal Service attract customers, generate revenue, and improve customer service.

For instance, USPS Mobile could include more package services, or a way to determine how long the lines are at your local Post Office, so you can plan accordingly. And new apps could provide capabilities for scanning packages, paying postage at home, requesting money orders, accessing passport services, and more.

The imperative of a mobile first strategy and the details about potential new USPS Mobile features and apps are explained in our paper, Mobile Opportunities: Smart Services for Connected Consumers.

Meanwhile, we’d like to know: Do you use USPS Mobile? What additional or new postal features or apps would you like to have? 

Comments (6)

  • anon

    The USPS employees scan our packages so we can follow them as the are going to their destination. If customers could track in real time it could help with finding lost mail or even prevent it. If we are able to see when and who scans the mail and follow them via GPS in real time we could help by tracking our individual mail and help with mistake delivers. One driver is expected to manage all the mail in thier truck and that is a lot to do.This would be a way to take less work for the entire postal system. If we can follow it and keep up with our on mail we could know where it may have been put on the wrong truck or delivered to the wrong address. It would save postal employees time in retracing the entire day because the mailer or reciever will have already seen on the scans and GPS the packages last know place and catch it quicker alert the post office and they can look into it right then instead of days.

    Oct 17, 2016
  • anon

    I love the convenience of getting my bills online so I don't always go to my mailbox every day. It would be awesome if I could get an email from the post office letting me know that I will be receiving a certified mail.

    Jan 14, 2016
  • anon

    You might able to in the future if USPS starts to combine a technology petition "Ask the United States Postal Service (USPS) to notify me instantly of letter postal mail" and USPS Informed Delivery.

    Feb 22, 2016
  • anon

    If you are going more mobile then set up a portal/link to email our payment receipts to ourselves instead of only being able to print. If I am mobile, I don't have the luxury of printing. Also, as my way of saving humanity, I am attempting at every turn to save paper which will ultimately help save a tree and our oxygen source. Please allow me to email my receipt when I pay my p.o. box fee. Thank you.

    Sep 15, 2015
  • anon

    Hi Gayle, Thanks for your response! This is a great idea, and one we are interested in as well. We researched the basis of your idea in a paper last year, called Mail Innovations, which looked at ways to create a richer customer experience while also providing more information to the advertiser. Thank you for drawing our attention to SnapTag - this seems like a good alternative to some of the other scanning technology, since it does not require a smartphone. We will keep this technology in mind for future research! Thanks, The OIG research team

    Sep 09, 2015
  • anon

    I think one way to connect direct mail to the digital world via mobile would include a system to track consumer's path to purchase. If direct mail could be accurately tracked as the first touch (or awareness) of a product or service, then it would help to prove direct mail's role and influence on consumers. This is possible by placing unique mobile barcodes on mailpieces that are specific to each addressee. When the unique code is scanned it can be recorded in a mobile platform (in real time) and the visit to a specific landing page on the web can be attributed to that specific mailpiece. Most attribution models have no way to quantify and qualify direct mail - this is a way for the USPS to compete with the digital world and enhance its role to advertisers. This technology exists, and better yet, it exists without the need to download and app! I know the USPS is currently offering a discount to those direct mail pieces that include mobile barcodes already. The company I work for, SpyderLynk, produces one of them called, SnapTag. I also know that unique QR codes are available and can be incorporated into direct mail via variable data printing. However, making the process more inclusive would increase responses. Not everyone has a smartphone and SnapTags work with any camera phone. With app overload being an increasing problem, it's nice to have so much functionality without having to download an app. Plus, integrating this technology with automated marketing platforms such as HubSpot or SilverPop would definitely promote the connection between direct mail and the digital world.

    Aug 31, 2015

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