Transformation, however, will not come about overnight. New legal and regulatory frameworks are required for MSMEs. Above all, it calls for governments to dedicate themselves to a level playing field incentivizing digitalization.
Every one of these trends has tremendous implications for postal digital commerce. This is the reason why the Universal Postal Union's E-Commerce Guide takes a helicopter view of e-commerce in the postal sector, outlining what Posts are doing to deploy services and to position themselves as countrywide providers capable of meeting market challenges.
Such activities are provided in urban areas, as well as among rural and underserved communities. They are often meeting traditional delivery needs, although Posts are also expanding services to meet the needs of e-commerce merchants and MSMEs.
'We want to make e-commerce work for everyone,' says the Universal Postal Union's Digital Inclusion and Policy Expert, Daniel Nieto, who authored the guide. 'Postal operators offer a universal service and they are a critical platform for the delivery of e-commerce globally,' he adds.
The E-commerce Guide highlights the strong connection between Posts - as part of the global postal network that the UPU oversees. It also offers updated information on postal e-commerce business models, delivery services and tools. The guide encourages Posts to develop fully integrated digital strategies for e-commerce consolidating capability and opportunity for integration between physical, digital and payments services.
The UPU's guide also shows how the UN specialized agency is responding to the needs of the postal sector. The UPU's main goal is to ensure seamless cross-border e-commerce using the multifunctional integrated postal infrastructure to provide all the world's citizens with simple, reliable access to postal services. Projects and programmes include the groundbreaking Operational Readiness for E-commerce project, the Ecom@Africa project, the Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility, also known as FITAF, and .POST - the secure cyberspace for postal services.
'Our work is about ensuring that the entire value chain is covered. UPU is empowering Posts to build up the products and services that not only enhance customer experience, but also position Posts as trusted and reliable players in the e-commerce sphere', said Paul Donohoe, UPU's Manager for Digital, Economy and Trade Programme.