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USPS Launches New Shipping, Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

March 24, 2012

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Postal Service is rolling out new shipping and marketing offerings for small businesses, a key growth segment that the money-losing organization is targeting as part of its long-term plan to return to profitability.

Here at USPS headquarters on Tuesday, Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing and sales officer of the Postal Service, unveiled a redesigned version of the online shipping application Click-N-Ship and previewed a new version geared especially for small online sellers, as well as a new integrated marketing campaign that aims to kindle interest in targeted direct mail advertising among local brick-and-mortar businesses.

The Postal Service rolled out its online Click-N-Ship application in 2002 in a bid to offer ecommerce vendors a convenient suite of competitive shipping services. The application now tallies more than 1 million users each month, accounting for 41 million shipping transactions each year.

The Postal Service expanded the package business with the launch of its flat-rate shipping offering in 2007, and has since been promoting the product line heavily with the multichannel “If it fits, it ships” ad campaign. Vogel said that the flat-rate business was worth about $1 billion in 2008, and has since doubled.

Now, the organization is retooling its Click-N-Ship service with a bevy of new features, including a four-step progress bar to make it easier for customers to track where they are in the process of printing a label. Many of the enhancements are incremental upgrades, such as an increase in the capacity of the address book from 3,000 addresses to 5,000, a cart capacity that is doubling in size to now accommodate 20 labels, and an online refund period that has increased from 10 days to 30 days.

Other new features include the ability to save a label as a PDF and a redesigned shipping history with a default view of the preceding 30 days’ worth of labels. More information about the revamped Click-N-Ship service is available here.

Additionally, for heavy sellers who are looking for a more robust online shipping option, the Postal Service is planning a “soft launch” of Click-N-Ship for Business next month.

In its first iteration, Click-N-Ship for Business will only be available as a desktop application, but new features like expanded international options will roll out over the summer months ahead of the major launch this fall, said Beth Fluto, the Postal Service’s manager of digital media.

“Bottom line is I just want to emphasize how the Postal Service is really working to constantly improve our shipping solutions for our small business customers to make it easier and quicker for them to ship with the Postal Service,” Fluto said.

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