Franking isn't just for letters
On March 30 Royal Mail increased the cost of sending a first and second class letter. A hike in the price of postage is never welcome, even if it is by just 1p. However, the new tariffs are not all bad news for mail users. In fact, there is much to cheer about, especially for those who send large numbers of parcels.
Online shoppers and e-merchants in particular are likely to welcome several elements of Royal Mail's new pricing. These include its decision to:
- Maintain or lower the price of sending a second class small or medium-sized parcel weighing up to 2kg;
- Retain the price promotion for second class small parcels introduced last Christmas. This removed the 1-2kg price band, charging all second class small parcels weighing up to 2kg at the same rate, representing a £1 price reduction for small parcels weighing 1-2kg;
- Retain the bigger dimensions of a small parcel, introduced in October. Combining the largest dimensions of the previous formats for Small Parcels to create a single Small Parcel format measuring 45cm x 35cm x 16cm has nearly doubled the maximum volume allowable, enabling users to send parcels containing bigger or more items at entry-level pricing; and
- Remove the 1-2kg price band for a second class medium parcel, so that a medium parcel weighing up to 2kg now costs the same as one weighing 0-1kg.
Overall, there will be no change in the price of second class postage for small parcels weighing up to 2kg and for medium parcels weighing up to 1kg. Medium parcels weighing 1-2kg will have a real price cut of up to £3.11 on last year's rates.
Whether you send a parcel by first or second class post, you can make big savings – of more than 15% in some cases – by franking. With savings of 30p per parcel for small parcels (first and second class) and up to £1.40 for a first class medium parcel weighing up to 2kg, a merchant would not have to send many packages to recoup the cost of franking machine rental and supplies, whilst also enjoying cheaper postage for letters.
In fact, the savings are so great that many home-based e-Bayers who might previously never have considered a franking machine could benefit, as well as the large numbers of retailers that plan to increase online sales this year.
By choosing to frank instead of stamp, Neopost customers can send parcels and packages more cheaply and benefit from on-going improvements to Royal Mail's parcels business. These include:
- A new Royal Mail Tracked Returns service, which includes a portal where online shoppers can print off a returns label and monitor the progress of their item back to the retailer, with tracking at five points in Royal Mail's network. The service also enables retailers to see exactly which items are being returned, from which customer and for what reason.
- The Nominate a Neighbour initiative, which allows customers to choose a neighbour close to their address to receive their parcels when they are not in (excluding items that require a signature); and
- The Local Collect network, which allows online shoppers to organise deliveries to be sent to a local Post Office for collection in person.
With nearly 1 in 6 (16%) of consumers now doing virtually all their shopping online1, the price of parcel deliveries is a major consideration for e-tailers and their customers. Franking is a great way to lower costs to the benefit of all.
Neopost Limited has produced a new white paper called “Cut the cost of sending and receiving customer communications”. This white paper explains how organisations can save money on their transactional and marketing communications. To download this new white paper visit www.neopost.co.uk/costcuttingwp
1 Royal Mail, Delivery Matters Returns Special, 2015