Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Feb 15 2017 19:30:04

What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The USPS is expanding its Informed Delivery feature that gives residential customers a digital preview of their incoming mail. Major caveat: it only applies to letter-sized mailpieces. But for sellers of small items and ephemera, this could be helpful, especially since tracking isn't a practical option for low-value items for which buyers don't want to pay more than a stamp worth of postage.

Here's a description of the service: "Through Informed Delivery, users receive images of the outside of their household's letter-sized mailpieces that will arrive in their physical mailboxes soon. Users can receive these images via email or by accessing their online dashboard at informeddelivery. usps.com."

Notifications are only sent on days when mail is being processed and delivered to the home, so it's not going to reassure a very impatient shopper by letting them know when an item has been sent

But it could be helpful in cases when a buyer is travelling - they don't have to be home to see that their item arrived. And it could help alert consumers to mail theft if a letter pictured in a notification email isn't in their mailbox when they arrive home.

Another useful scenario is when the person who brings in the mail isn't the intended recipient and misplaces a letter - as the Postal Service explains, "Informed Delivery benefits the entire household, ensuring that everyone sees the mail each day, not just those that retrieve the mail from the physical mailbox."

USPS has been testing Informed Delivery in select areas. By late April, the feature is slated to be available nationwide.

We know there are many sellers who put certain items in letter-size envelopes (stamps, postcards, decals) and use a first-class stamp to send their orders. Unlike package tracking, the sender still won't know if and when the mail was delivered to their buyer.

But the fact that recipients are notified is a step forward.




Comments (14) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Feb 16 02:27:14 2017

It would be nice if I could select the junk mail pieces they could just recycle for me instead of delivering them.  LOL

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 09:57:15 2017

Instead of coming up with all these stupid little gimmicks I would prefer......

1. They deliver my mail without it taking the scenic route.

2. Start charging the chinese an amount that is reasonable to send their junk to the US.

3. Clean up the problems that they currently have without starting something new that only the fixated are going to use.

4. How about just putting tracking on everything including first class mail.

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 10:18:12 2017

@ Marie: (and others desirious)

Post a note visible to your carrier: No third class mail please.



Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 11:36:06 2017

How the He// is the USPS going to optically scan every piece of mail and get you an image? Doesn't seem as if this service would be worth paying for.

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 16 12:45:09 2017

The USPS already photographs every piece of mail they handle, and has done so for the past decade.

Little known fact :)

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Feb 16 13:11:52 2017

I need this about as much as I need a smart home. No thanks. Information overload. I am sure there will be some folks who appreciate it but I don't need it. I get bombarded with enough useless texts, emails and other electronic notifications as it is.

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: jg8222 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 17 09:17:56 2017

I always mail with tracking. The buyer can still say they did not receive it. Is usps going to give you (seller) the scan if asked? It would be worthwhile then.

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: PowerSeller This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Feb 17 09:22:16 2017

Hi Ina! We really like the idea of images of packages/products/letters, but at time of shipping, not the day of delivery. Gives customers an immediate sense of security, that an actual product/package is being shipped, when it is being shipped, and that it is the actual item they ordered. We have created and been testing on a limited number of our shipments, a new tool. We call it VisualConfirm, as in Visual Confirmation. We can easily send photos of the product and packaging to the customer the moment it is processed for shipping. Often minutes after an order is placed. We have received glowing feedback so far. it probably takes 20-30 seconds, but well worth the time. Customer is impressed with the value added service, at no extra charge, is reassured they have not been scammed as they see the actual product and shipping label being sent. Also, they see the quality of the packaging. Often times packages arrived banged up and damaged. Our initial "VisualConfirm" reassures the customer that it was not sent in that condition, so the blame or negative feedback may be avoided. Also, it is great when a customer received an incorrect item, both you and the customer have photos of exactly what was sent, so it is not a he said she said situation. Anyway, this is something we built for ourselves, but is free to use for anyone interested.

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 17 10:10:34 2017

While this is a nice feature, not sure if it will help sellers and senders, since the buyers can simply LIE about receipt or non-receipt?

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 17 10:22:25 2017

I was looking for a job in the remote encoding center about 15 years ago. They took pics of envelopes the machine couldnt read, and then you entered the zip code and name and it would put a bar code on it, from thousands of miles away. The imaging feature came in handy for me personally on some undeliverable stuff where they could see the package, tell me what was unreadable on it and put a request to correct it

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Feb 17 10:32:16 2017

What a stupid thing to come up with. How about instead, getting rid of stupid Sunday mail deliveries for ALL Amazon packages. I have had multiple packages this winter left outside in the snow and rain on Sundays and the door bell wasn't rung as I was up and never heard it and since it sounds like the Addam's Family doorbell, it is hard to miss it gonging. My regular mail carrier knows to stick packages inside the front door but the mail carriers on Sunday aren't local and they just deliver willy-nilly. Got a Sunday delivery yesterday (Thursday) from and empty cottage that is next door that we use for storage. I've brought in packages in the last two weeks completely drenched - I didn't realize that cardboard could squish like that. So yep, there are lots of other things the PO should be focusing on, such as delivering the mail instead of nonsense like this. How is the PO suppose to get everyone's cell phone anyhow and how will folks that have to pay for texts appreciate getting them?

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: JLynnPro This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Feb 17 10:34:54 2017

I'm with @feelingfroggy.  Fix what's broken first.  Besides, I don't wANT to see all the junk mail that I'm just going to be putting into my recycling.

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

by: rickyrocket This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 17 13:45:07 2017

Volvo351: A photo of nearly EVERY piece of mail is ALREADY taken by the post office; this practice is not all that new. An article I read states:

"For example, you know those barcodes on the bottoms of our envelopes? The USPS scans those using a wide field camera and takes super-high resolution photographs of the back and front of most mail pieces—again, not the stuff inside—for sorting and diagnostic purposes."

Besides the above, I recall reading that the images are only kept for a certain amount of time due to database storage. (My guess would be 90 or 180 days...)

So those images could easily be used for this Informed Delivery service.

Perminate Link for What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?   What If Shoppers Could Preview Their Incoming Mail?

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

Fri Feb 17 21:13:38 2017

This is THE most stupid waste of brain cells and money we've ever seen. The only Sillier thing is the "Discreet Delivery" of contraceptives to your home. When a guy in a Lemon Yellow Cutlass with a Condom tip on the roof and a horn loudly blaring "La Cucaracha" steps out of the car wearing a condom hat and walks up, rings the doorbell as the neighbors watch him hand you the goods :o)



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.