Millennials Push USPS for Better Tracking, More Convenience
Millennials will soon be the generation with the greatest purchasing power. They are also the most likely to conduct business of all kinds online. Appealing to this generation is therefore important for any company, and the USPS recently conducted a survey to find out exactly how to do that.
“Millennials and the Mail” survey
From summer 2017 to April 2018, the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) surveyed adults aged 18–34 to determine some of the factors that influence this age group when choosing a parcel delivery provider. Published as “Millennials and the Mail,” the survey consisted of three phases and included an online discussion board.
Living arrangements affect behavior
One fundamental finding was that the age of respondents was less important than their living arrangements in affecting how they behaved. Millennials are more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse, and they often delay both marriage and starting a family. This is a significant difference from all prior generations.
Trust is essential . . .
Of the 17 factors investigated by the survey, “Trust that the package won’t be lost” was the single most important, followed closely by “price” and “trust that the package will be delivered as scheduled.” These elements also came tops in the online discussion, where millennials said cost, trustworthiness, and convenience are the main things they consider when choosing between shippers.
. . . and convenience and immediacy are close behind
As could be expected, several factors that relate to convenience were rated highly or asked for by participants. Millennials on the discussion board made comments such as “I lean toward the more convenient option” and “having the ability to set what time my package is delivered would be nice, and much more convenient to me.”
They also want to know what’s going on with their parcel at all times, both via real-time updates and advance notifications. In a follow-up survey, 75% said text notifications are somewhat or very important in choosing a shipper.
They won’t use it if they don’t know it exists
Arguably the most important insight to come out of this survey is that the USPS needs to do a much better job of letting people know about its new (and not so new) services and features. Many of the millennials participating in the discussion forum were surprised to learn that the USPS already offers some of the things they were asking for, such as a smartphone app, self-service kiosks, and the ability to schedule a parcel pickup by a mail carrier.
For shippers, this survey provides valuable knowledge about what the generation that’s coming into its purchasing prime — and the one most likely to shop online — wants from any business:
- Ease and convenience (in both the digital and real worlds)
- Not having to interact with a human
- An attractive UI on apps and websites and the ability to customize their experience
- Real-time updates of package-delivery status
- Assurance that their money and data are securely protected, and that their purchases will arrive on time
Companies that offer these factors and make sure customers know about them will gain an edge with the millennial generation.