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Shipping Companies Should Dress the Part

It’s a whole new world where regular Joes and Janes can become hotelier (AirBnB), taxi driver (Uber), or venture capitalist (Kickstarter) with an app and little else. But while we’re all getting used to our family, friends, and neighbors taking on new roles, it seems people still want visual cues about the roles of those providing services – at least when it comes to people showing up on their doorstep.

That’s the finding of a new survey conducted by Endicia, which surveyed 1,145 people with the help of Instant.ly. It found that nearly 60% of people prefer that package delivery people wear a uniform. And what do consumers like most about the uniforms of traditional carriers such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx? 72% of respondents said it’s easy to figure out what company they’re from, and 22% said they look professional.

The survey also delved into the concerns respondents had with delivery people in street clothes: 68% said that without the delivery person’s uniform, they would not recognize the reason the person was at their door – and 40% said the person might be dangerous or unprofessional.

In addition, 30% said the person might lose/steal their package, while 22% said they might break their package. 12% did not have any concerns about delivery people in street clothes.

Endicia conducted the survey to gauge people’s feelings about “crowdshipping.” An Endicia spokesperson explained that Uber and Amazon were making moves to enter the package delivery space and were reportedly testing crowd-sourcing services where “everyday folks” will deliver packages.

Endicia found that 65% of respondents were unfamiliar with the concept of shipping startups. And while only 32% had used a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, 67% said they would use a service from an Amazon or Uber service that hired everyday citizens (not official employees) to deliver packages.

However, 34% said that as shipping startups continue to expand, they would be more likely to use traditional carriers (USPS, FedEx and UPS) because they were familiar with it; 29% said they would, for reliability; 15% said they would, for security, and 14% said they would, for convenience.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.