Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Sept 2 2015 17:26:22

Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The USPS should consider adding functionality to its USPS Mobile app that would allow customers to pay for postal services through the app, according to the Office of Inspector General (OIG). And it should consider creating a new app to allow customers to order money orders through their mobile devices. 

These and other recommendations were published in a white paper recently released by the OIG.

Mobile apps present opportunities for the US Postal Service to attract more customers, generate additional revenue, and improve customer service, the OIG said, and it came up with 10 ideas with the help of a digital-mobile strategy expert and a marketing analysis firm - 5 suggestions for enhancing the existing USPS Mobile app (released in 2009), and 5 suggestions for new standalone apps from the Postal Service.

Some appear obvious, such as adding account management to USPS Mobile - customers could store information such as frequently used addresses and post offices, delivery preferences, and payment details, for example. 

Also a sure-to-please addition: "allowing package recipients to receive alerts automatically when a package is sent to them, giving options to arrange a pickup time at a post office, offering expedited delivery service for an additional fee, or changing the delivery destination."

The OIG also suggested that the USPS add payments capability to its current mobile app: 

"The Postal Service already allows users to buy stamps and pay for package shipping through its mobile website; transferring this functionality to the app would add utility. Both in-store and in-app, the Postal Service could allow customers to provide payments via their mobile devices for shipping or any future services."

It also suggests the USPS consider a new app to help customers order domestic and international money orders:

"Money orders remain a significant revenue source for the Postal Service, generating $165 million in 2014. A mobile app for money orders could increase the ease and efficiency of buying and using money orders. Customers could use their smartphones to input and store recipient information and create orders, which could expedite the current in-person process."

Some readers will remember the BidPay payment service that let buyers order money orders in the early days of ecommerce. If so, the following may sound familiar:

"For repeat customers, the app could offer additional services, such as storing their debit card information. Customers could schedule money orders to be delivered directly to their house, allowing them to bypass the post office. The app could also offer a system for hybrid money orders, where the customer could order and pay for a money order on their mobile device. The Postal Service could then print and mail it to the recipient. These offerings could help promote customer loyalty."

Another suggested USPS app of interest to shoppers: a mobile coupon app. "The Coupon Collection app could allow consumers to easily collect, store, and organize coupons received in the mail by simply scanning and storing them to their mobile device for quick retrieval when the customer is ready to buy."

The full report is available on the USPS OIG website and is well worth perusing. Let us know what you think of the USPS OIG suggestions, particularly around payments. And are there features you'd like to see that could help you with your shipping tasks?




Comments (9) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 2 18:07:42 2015

I just wish that the post office would do the job they were created for.   DELIVER MY MAIL TO MY HOUSE AND NOT TO THE HOUSE ON THE NEXT BLOCK.

Until they can get mail delivered correctly they should leave the other stuff to the people that might just know what they are doing.

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Sep 2 21:53:05 2015

"5 suggestions for new standalone apps from the Postal Service"

Oh great, "helpful" recommendations from somebody who's never actually used a smartphone.  Hey, I know, why don't you split my grocery store into 5 different stores spread all over town?  I just love driving all over kingdom come for a single meal, almost as much as I love scrolling through pages and pages of artificially trivialized apps!

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Wed Sep 2 23:45:38 2015

All USPS facilities are noy equal. USPS could be more helpful in revealing when and where packages are actually picked up by its hub vans. And even more helpful: which facilities have good track records, and which ones need improvement. In fact, it would be helpful if USPS would reveal where its drop boxes are actually located. Sometimes they show up in front of grocery stores, sometimes in office parks, and sometimes in shopping centers. I've never understood why USPS does not disclose to customers that while its hours are limited there are mail centers like Office Depot in the neighborhood that are full capable of packing and posting a package even after hours and on weekends.  

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Sep 3 08:05:15 2015

3 Packages going to the same place show up at three different times, the last one gets there THREE WEEKS later....and their worried about an APP ?
Let's get the elementary right first.
USPS service STINKS !

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

by: ebay-dreckfresser This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 3 09:45:20 2015

@sasikat9

I;m in full agreement.  Right now the USPS lacks the skill and dedication necessary to deliver mail reliably. I've sustained repeated losses due to the USPS losing packages.  I've had to repeatedly deal with angry customers whose packages have been mis-routed by the USPS, or which the USPS has otherwise delayed for unknown reasons. Thanks to the USPS ebay has repeatedly labelled me as a ''defective'' seller, even though I faithfully entrust packages to the USPS on a ''same day'' or ''next day'' basis.

The USPS should NOT be devoting resources to new apps and new services until it masters its primary duty which is mail delivery.  

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

by: Postalwizard This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 3 12:55:26 2015

It never ceases to amaze me how a select group of people just love to trash on the Postal Service for the isolated instances of delivery failures or delays, like they are the only ones.  These one sided stories often fail to mention the faulty addresses elements or false expectations when the overwhelming majority of Packages, Flats and Letters arrive on time.  The point of this blog was to discuss enhancements to their mobile application, everything else is just background noise.  Keep the comments constructive!

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

by: ebay-dreckfresser This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 3 14:46:39 2015

@Postalwizard

You State:

The point of this blog was to discuss enhancements to their mobile application, everything else is just background noise.  Keep the comments constructive!

As stated in my prior comment:

''The USPS should NOT be devoting resources to new apps and new services until it masters its primary duty which is mail delivery.''

This clearly addresses the primary issue raised.

By the way, I suggest you try spending 3 or 4 hours at a time, two or 3 times per week, calling the post office in an effort to track down properly addressed packages that the post office loses. I believe you'll particularly appreciate waiting on hold for 90 minutes and then being disconnected. The post office consistently loses about 2% of my properly addressed packages -  some months it loses more. The post office also delays or mis-routes 15% of my packages - all correctly addressed.

The post office shouldn't be wasting manpower on ''apps'' until it overcomes its gross failure to provide reliable mail service.  

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 3 15:54:05 2015

@PostalWizard

"Keep the comments constructive"

How's this for constructive....Until the post office gets their act together and delivers the correctly addressed mail to the correct address within the time span they themselves state they should stay out of anything else, as they already have proven that they are incapable of doing their current job correctly.

Is that  constructive enough for you.

Perminate Link for Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps   Ten Features USPS Should Add to Its Mobile Apps

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Fri Sep 4 12:08:58 2015

That's right; it is constructive criticism for postal customers to ask for reliable info on where, when, and how USPS Services can be purchased and at what cost. When 9 out of 11 USPS First Class packages go "walk-about" and go missing off delivery trucks then it's not isolated background noise - it's SOP. Just in case you forgot, UPS owes its size and strength to USPS slack in the monopoly department. That's a LOT of slack!  



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.