When opening an eCommerce shop, there are a few things you need to do. As a start, you need to create your brand, build a website, find products to sell, etc. Once the digital side of the project is done, you’ll have to figure out how you can send customers’ orders to their front door.
Usually, the first option is to hire a courier agency to handle delivery and shipping. A courier agency is an organization, which is typically a private firm specializing in shipping and delivering a variety of items from one place or person to another. These may include letters, parcels, or any sort of package. At first glance, it’s the perfect shipping solution for eCommerce sites, but it’s essential to understand that there’s an alternative, which is mailing services.
What Are Mailing Services?
Mailing services, also known as postal services, are pretty similar to courier services; they both involve the transport of items from one place to another. What makes postal services different is that it’s handled by only one agency for every country. And, this agency is under the government. New Yorkers, for example, use the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Benefits Of Mailing Services
Originally, mailing services were highly inefficient as opposed to courier services. But, with a few tweaks in USPS’s regulations and system, their services became a lot more beneficial, in the following ways:
- Mailing Services Have Become More Accessible
Over the past few years, the government has established more and more post offices around the country. So, while there were only a few of these agencies in the past, you can now find at least one within your town or city. Moreover, with the help of technology, citizens can now check if the post office is open today through online platforms. Since each region within the US likely has a post office nearby, your buyers should be able to pick up deliveries without traveling all day.
Simply put, mailing services have become a lot more accessible than when it was years ago. If it wasn’t such a worthwhile endeavor for eCommerce sites before, then it sure is now. However, that’s not the only benefit mailing services bring to the table.
- Deliveries Are Becoming Faster
Apart from becoming more accessible, USPS deliveries have also become a lot faster than they originally were. In the past, it usually took a few weeks or even a month before the recipient gets their package. But now, it wouldn’t be a surprise if your customer receives their item overnight. In fact, a lot of people have already testified to overnight deliveries from USPS.
So, you can no longer make the excuse that postal services are slower than courier services because that’s clearly no longer the case.
- Postal Services Are More Affordable
When comparing postal services and courier services, it’s a given that the former will always be more affordable than the latter. This is mainly because you only pay for the shipping costs, while the labeling and any other additional services are typically provided for free.
On the other hand, while courier services are known for their fast delivery services, it’s relatively more expensive. Also, the price for labeling usually comes with a fee. Furthermore, postal services often offer numerous plans, like bulk packages, for example. With these plans, eCommerce shop owners should be able to save a hefty sum of money. For your reference, the USPS offers both local and international shipping services, each with different rates and services.
- The Packages Would Be Safe
If you’ve ordered an item online, you’re probably aware that some couriers simply don’t handle packages with much care. In some cases, the package may end up sustaining damage, which would affect the overall experience of your customers. When that happens, your eCommerce brand would be the one to take a hit even if it wasn’t your fault.
However, since the government handles postal services, their agents have gone through numerous training sessions. So, you can expect that they’d be at least more careful than couriers.
Of course, that’s not to say this would be the case all the time. Couriers can also deliver packages flawlessly, while postal office staff may do the opposite. Even then, if you want to ensure that the packages would be safe, going with mailing services might be the safest choice.
- Platforms Now Consists Of Tracking Features
One of the best features courier services can offer is tracking. This allows consumers to always keep track of their packages and stay up-to-date on their status. Tracking is particularly useful for individuals who are often away from their homes. With a tracking feature, they can check if their package is currently in their homes. Unfortunately, that’s not a feature that postal services have, at least not in the past. Now, the USPS also consists of the tracking feature.
With USPS’ tracking feature, your customers will know the current status of their package, where the delivery truck is currently at, and the estimated date of arrival.
- Customers Can Also Return Packages
Another feature that wasn’t offered by postal services before is the Return system. But as you may have guessed, the USPS now also offers return services.
However, the process of returning packages is a bit more complex than with courier services. But it’s important to remember that this is a relatively recent addition to the Postal Staff’s system, so it’s only natural.
For your reference, the USPS offers a variety of return services, including the following:
- Priority Mail Return Service
- Ground Return Service
- Parcel Return Service
- Bulk Parcel Return Service
It usually takes two to nine days before the returned package arrives at your warehouse, but that’s already quite fast considering that the average number of days it takes for customers to receive their packages is six days. Moreover, the customer can send you a message concerning the discrepancy on their package, so you can send another one immediately after.
As you may have noticed, mailing services are slowly keeping up with courier services, and your customers will barely even notice the difference. Give it a few more years, and the USPS may even exceed your expectations. Simply put, postal services are becoming more worthwhile with each passing year, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it becomes more sought-after in the future.