Experts Discuss the Evolution Needed in the Mail Industry

Every day, we send and receive mail from various addresses. In fact, there are 115,000 post boxes in the UK. But with the volume of mail making its way across the UK daily, demands and the needs of your mailing services are going to change.

Over the last decade, the mailing industry has changed significantly, affecting how we send and receive mail.

Jon Beasley, technical director at WDM at Washington Direct Mail, says: “As with every sector, it isn’t surprising that people are demanding more from their mailing services. Whether it is the type of post you receive or how you want it sent, every sector needs to improve efficiency and convenience for its customers. 

“As attitudes towards postage and home deliveries change, our mailing services, and even our doors, will have to adopt new approaches to keep customers across the UK happy.”

The need for larger letterboxes

The rising number of parcel deliveries is no surprise, with more people finding the convenience of home delivery a must-have for their retail purchases. In fact, parcel mailing has seen a steady increase for the past decade, with a boom from 2020–21. Last year, some 3,628 million packages were shipped in the UK.

One common issue for many is waiting for parcels to arrive, with some being left in the bin, at an unknown neighbour’s, or taken back to the depot if you’ve missed it. With the increase in parcel deliveries, it might be necessary to modify our door structures to cater to larger packages. 

From larger letterboxes that can accept larger letter and parcel sizes to adopting security boxes for the front door that postal workers can fit parcels into, some changes need to be made to accommodate this demand. And with porch thefts more prevalent than ever, amounting to up to £200 million worth of packages stolen in the UK, new front-step designs must be made to prevent this.

Five-day mailing week

The number of letters sent every year within the UK has been dropping steadily since 2017, with only 7,691 million letters being sent in 2022 compared to 11,922 million in 2017. This drop in the need for mail postage means that Royal Mail might consider reducing its letter efforts to a five-day week and only delivering during the working week rather than the weekend.

Beasley says: “Businesses will need to consider how and when they’re sending their direct mail, with a likelihood that people will only receive letters and smaller posts during the working week.

“With many customers rushing to work or just coming in, capturing their attention is going to be more difficult than ever before. Concise messaging, including smaller direct mail formats such as postcards, are likely to become more popular forms of marketing and communication.”

Social media integration

More people use social media and personal devices for online shopping and postage. With 83.25 million people having a mobile phone in March 2022, it is no wonder that more people are unlocking the power of social media as a buying tool. 

Market platforms such as Meta and other sites like Vinted have popularised the selling, buying, and posting of goods from your mobile device. As such, we might see mailing services adapt better to online shopping. With many services already available, including destination tracking and tracking updates, there might be more ways that technology can develop to make this easier.

Better tracking systems might be integrated to provide real-time destinations without dropping satellites, and chatbots might be developed to describe exact locations. In the future, we might even find social media being used to send letters, with people wanting to stay connected through all platforms.

The world of mail is changing drastically, with more people using devices, fewer letters being sent, and the need for package safety increasing. With some changes to our home’s architecture and the way we use social media and our mobiles, we might find mailing services adapting to these new in-home delivery demands.