It’s no secret that the traditional postal business model is in decline. And while New Zealand Post’s ability to adapt to change can be exemplified by its 170-year existence, the digital age is certainly proving to be the toughest nut to crack yet. But rather than fight the digital, it’s working with it to create viable business extensions and at today’s Direct Marketing event at Eden Park, a rather chuffed head of digital solutions at New Zealand Post, Simone Iles, offered the first glimpse into its new free digital service, YouPost, designed to make life that much easier to manage.
While New Zealand Post says its physical network is being improved and refined to be more responsive and valuable to customers, it acknowledges the rapid and irreversible shift from standard letter communication to digital messaging and YouPost aims to target that expanding segment of the market.
“Digital change is driving and redefining the business that we’re in,” said Iles today. “We’re taking the postal physical distribution network that gets your stuff from A to B, and thinking more broadly about how we can make the every day easier.”
With the explosion of digital leaving customers dealing with a deluge of emails, spam, security concerns and multiple websites from which bills are paid, YouPost is a secure online tool that takes care of important tasks, all in the one place.
This isn’t New Zealand Post’s first online dabble. It launched its eBill service over 10 years ago now, enabling customers to view and pay bills online. While that service was later shut down, YouPost presents a much more versatile option with functionality aplenty.
Twelve months in the making, the digital service helps you sort, organise and pay your bills. You can pay right there or plan ahead by scheduling payments. There’s also a shared mode that can be used for shared responsibilities or flatting situations. Beyond bills, you can use it to store digital backup of your legal documents, warranties, manuals and any other important things you want to keep safe. It can even remind you when things like your passport or car warrant are expiring, or of upcoming birthdays. It’s up to the user to decide what goes in their mailbox, and all mail can be kept for up to eight years, a function Iles says is handy for tax purposes.
Available on multiple devices, it is accessible by browser or using mobile apps for Android and iPhone, Iles describing the mobile apps as an “absolutely non-negotiable must-do”.
The website is currently in Beta testing mode and New Zealand Post says it will be launched directly to customers of companies that have signed up as senders before the end of this year (major senders have already signed up, but those names won’t be revealed until the official launch). A wider general launch has been slated for the first quarter of 2013.