April 3, 2018

A Closer Look at Canada Post's Self-Service Kiosks

Postal

As part of its transformation plan, Canada Post launched a series of Concept Stores to meet changing customer needs. Each store has been equipped to be self-sufficient 24/7 and included a self-service shipping area, vending machines, parcel-boxes and even a changing room to try on newly received retail goods to allow for fast returns if the customer is unhappy with the item.

“Canada Post delivers two out of every three parcels Canadians order online, which means we’re quickly becoming the trusted face of thousands of online retailers,” said Doug Ettinger, Chief Commercial Officer, Canada Post. “This new store signifies the importance we place on that relationship and the need to evolve to serve Canadian’s changing postal needs.”

 

Post Office Concept Stores

Each Concept Store offers a range of customer conveniences, such as self-serve shipping stations to allow online shoppers and small business owners to perform tasks quickly and easily. It also includes a drive-thru for parcel pickup and a fitting room.

The new Vancouver Main Post Office offers customers everything you can do at a typical post office, but with greater convenience. Some of the features include:

  • 24/7 self-serve shipping kiosk and automated induction unit, where you can ship night and day.
  • 24/7 postal and parcel boxes where you can pick up items securely, even when the store is closed.
  • 24/7 vending machine to buy stamps and shipping supplies
  • A changing room to try on online purchases immediately–then return whatever doesn’t work for you minutes later.

Take a look at the new Post Office Concept Store in Vancouver 

 

Meeting Customer Requirements

For customers kiosks minimizes wait times, speed up transactions, which ultimately leads to increased transaction volumes.

At Canada Post, self-service kiosks enable customers to:

  • Weigh, calculate and buy postage
  • Send items by express, priority and first class mail
  • Look up ZIP codes and obtain postal service information
  • Obtain express mail, certified mail, and return receipts

 

Supporting eCommerce

Canada Post reported in 2015 that as eCommerce continues to grow at double-digit rates. For the first half of 2015, the number of items ordered online and delivered by Canada Post grew 16% compared to the same period the previous year.

As Canadians shop online more, what they’re buying is also changing. Traditionally, mass merchants and fashion retailers have generated the bulk of eCommerce parcel growth. But as Canadians transition from being first-time to frequent shoppers and eventually hyper shoppers (11+ times annually) they are branching out and buying different kinds of items online.

The 24/7 self-serve kiosk enables eCommerce users who want to scan and send out packages quickly without having to wait in line at the counter. Customers can buy stamps, shipping supplies such as Priority™ Prepaid and Xpresspost™ Prepaid envelopes or bubble envelopes, gift cards and more.

At the Concept Stores, customers can also print their own labels, scan the barcode, and place the parcel in the induction unit. Vending machines let customers buy supplies, such as prepaid envelopes, and collectables. 

Spurred by the success of the initial concept stores rollouts, new elements added in 2016 included printing stamps on demand, processing the shipment of parcels to U.S. and international destination through the kiosk.

 

Extended Postal Hours

For customers unable to visit the branch during the standard 9-5 opening hours, the self-service kiosks provide the flexibility to access the same range of services outside of hours.

While postal kiosks and shipping stations are open 24/7, the Concept Store’s extended full-service hours for the drive-thru, fitting room and for complex transactions that require staff assistance are available 9-9. Monday to Friday, and 9-5 Saturday and Sunday.

 

Summary

eCommerce, high-speed internet, and mobile device usage have changed the role of the post office.

As a total solutions provider to the postal industry, Escher is helping postal operators like Canada Post redefine the customer experience by providing efficient and convenient services that meet their requirements.

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