Weathering Through the Weather

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"

Many Americans consider that phrase to be the motto of the U.S. Postal Service, showing the dedication of not only carriers, but the entire postal network to operate during the worst of weather disruptions. Though the Postal Service actually has no motto (those words are chiseled into the entrance over the Farley Post Office in New York City), it strives to be prepared to function during any type of extreme weather.

 

Play to Win in the Parcel Market

It seems the pricing of parcels in today’s market is a lot like the story of Goldilocks and the three bears (with the U.S. Postal Service playing the role of Goldilocks): If USPS sets prices too high, it opens the door for the big retailers to come in and make their own deliveries. If it prices them too low, it loses money. It needs to price parcel delivery services just right.

 

Social Media and Expectations

How many times have you checked your Facebook page today? Twitter? Or maybe you’re an Instagram person. Social media is a big part of many people’s lives, and it’s also becoming a common way for customers to contact the U.S. Postal Service.

Customers might use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to comment on a particular retail experience, seek information on a product or service, or ask USPS to respond to complaints and questions. Collectively, the Postal Service’s social media accounts received more than 390,000 posts in fiscal year (FY) 2016.

 

Rethinking Assumptions

With $72 billion in revenue and 154 billion pieces of mail moved in a year, the U.S. Postal Service deals in the billions. That’s why you sometimes hear people joke that “a few million here and a few million there and pretty soon you are talking about real money” with the USPS.

 

Riding Out Fuel Fluctuations

How prepared is the U.S. Postal Service for a sudden increase in the price of diesel fuel? When diesel climbed by $2.03 a gallon from March 2009 to March 2012, the USPS’s fuel tab soared by $341 million.

It’s what happens when you operate one of the biggest vehicle fleets in the country: 7,600 of its own in addition to almost 16,000 contract vehicles. In fiscal year 2016 alone, USPS bought about 251 million gallons of diesel at a cost of over $570 million.

 

Sellers Can’t Afford to Box Themselves In

With more than 226,000 different decorative pillows to buy on Amazon, you could spend a week just browsing for them. And then you could use another week to peruse all the pillow choices on the other online marketplaces, like eBay and Etsy.

Suffice to say, you can find a ton of options online for just about any trinket you need. On the other hand, if you are one of the millions of online sellers, you have an awful lot of competition. So, sellers really need to differentiate themselves from the pack to earn customers, especially repeat customers. 

 

Keep it Clean… and Safe

We hear a lot about the U.S. Postal Service’s brand. And rightfully so. The brand is among its most precious assets.

The post office lobby is certainly a lens through which the customer views the brand. A post office lobby is the principal business office of the Postal Service and often the only close-up look at postal operations that many customers get. Its appearance directly affects the Postal Service’s public image.

 

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