Can sensor technology increase P.O. Box utilization rates?

Can sensor technology increase P.O. Box utilization rates?
09 Mar 2016

Most postal service operators offer a P.O. Box service, however, many are not used at their optimum level. Encouraging more use then should be a priority of operators. The infrastructure to operate the service has already been installed, so any extra revenue from this priority can yield ongoing high margin profits. Most of all an increase in usage may see increasing foot traffic in the post office to generate higher point of sale revenues on store items.

The answer is to give the P.O. Boxes a rejuvenating facelift, making them more interesting, useful and convenient to the customer. Consider how much more handy a P.O. Box would be if the owner was notified electronically when something had arrived in their box? If the embedded device could notify a group of people by text message or by email (all controlled in the Cloud) when the mail has been delivered and picked up.

The fact that they wouldn’t have to constantly check for post arrivals would be more convenient for customers in general but doubly so for those with mobility issues. The notification technology would ease mail pickup management for the customer’s support group.

The concept need not be limited to P.O. Boxes, it could work equally as well with passive central delivery mailboxes or parcel lockers. For example, in Canada customers receive a parcel notice in their mailbox with a key to a passive parcel locker. However the customer is not notified when there is a parcel locker notice and so there is no urgency to get to their mailbox. This may mean the delivered parcel sits in the parcel locker, slowing delivery time. However should a notification device send customers to their mailbox more regularly, the response rate may increase which in turn could drive up direct mail revenues.

From a network planning perspective, having a device that knows when consumers pick up their mail can influence the management of location of boxes and provide usage rates that would be useful to sell direct marketing by neighborhood.

These are just some of the opportunities for IoT technology in our postal and courier services. Can you think any other benefits and conveniences?

Patrick Armstrong, CEO
Snaile Inc. | First & Last Mile Compartment Check & Notify Technology

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