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What Matters to Millennials When it Comes to Shipping and the USPS

Millennials, those ages 18-34, represent a lucrative segment of the buying population to businesses. Many companies, including carriers like the U.S. Postal Service, are constantly trying to figure out how to appeal to this age group. Often characterized by being technically savvy and in need of instant retail gratification (and fast shipping), this cohort represents a sizeable amount of buying power.

Millennials and the Mail

The U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has published results from a new survey called “Millennials and the Mail” that determines some of the main factors that go into choosing a parcel delivery provider for this age group. The survey consisted of three phases from summer of 2017 to April 2018, including an online discussion board.

Shipping The Digital Era

The study found that this age group picks up and sorts mail less frequently than other generations, in part because of their reliance on social media for information and because they conduct many activities, like paying bills, online. The Postal Service’s digital platforms attract millennials who are more likely to have visited the mail provider’s website or use its app. However, millennials still value postal mail as they like to receive personalized notes and cards, with 75% saying it makes them feel special.

Decisions, Decisions

Out of 17 factors, millennials stated that trust is the most important when choosing a carrier. Survey respondents chose “trust that the package won’t be lost” as the most important criterion, followed by price and then on-time delivery. Easy shipping, being able to track the package, and customer service were also all rated highly. This is not a surprise given how this group values convenience and being able to use the internet for as many tasks as possible.

Convenience in Shipping

Convenience was a topic that continually arose on the study’s discussion board. Millennials felt that the Post Office was convenient due to its multiple physical locations. However, they also suggested that the Postal Service install kiosks where they could drop off letters and packages, purchase stamps, and print shipping and return labels. This do-it-yourself “one-stop shopping” outlet is exactly the kind of self-service retail experience millennials like.

More Technology, Please

Many of those surveyed expressed the desire to have instant access to the status of their package delivery. Millennials want detailed tracking information; for example, a visual rendering of the package on a truck on a map, indicating exactly where their package is in its journey, via text or email notifications. However, many participants in the discussion board were not aware that account holders can already receive text notifications regarding their packages.

Overall, millennials who participated in the survey expressed interest in a more personalized consumer experience, with Postal Service products that are customizable. Since most would be willing to pay more for products that are more fun and useful, the Postal Service has an opportunity to capitalize on finding out how to market to, sell to, and satisfy this group.

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