Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
It can be hard to build a relationship with someone whose name you don’t know. But that’s the challenge faced by thousands of Australian retailers and service providers, particularly those who operate mostly from physical premises.
Turning anonymous transactions into relationships is a challenge that’s also confronted Australia Post, which each day provides services to tens of thousands of anonymous walk-in customers. Anonymous transactions deliver revenue, but they reveal nothing about the demographics, motivations or past histories of those making them.
Getting to know customers better has been one of the major benefits to come from the launch of MyPost, which gathers together numerous services service under a unified brand. Because customers sign up and enter into an ongoing relationship, Australia Post gains both a means of collecting identifiable customer data, while providing a channel for ongoing communication.
Since its launch in March 2013, MyPost has attracted more than 2.5 million registered customers, who use MyPost to access to services such as Australia Post’s concession program, its flexible delivery service and electronic mailbox.
According to Australia Post’s general manager for small business, Dirk van Lammeren, MyPost is Post’s response to customer interest in more personalised services.
“We have shifted from delivering to addresses much more to delivering to people,” he says. “We are going much more from products to experiences, and you will see that in every corporate. And we can give you the best services if we know who you are.
“A lot of those customers would walk into our retail outlets in an anonymous state. Through MyPost, we have now the opportunity to know them and provide them with services. And that comes back to an identity story, because for a lot of services you need to identify yourself.
“The data is very rich, within all the boundaries of privacy and data legislation that we comply with, but all of a sudden we start to see patterns that we can use to even further improve the experience.”
Another trend MyPost addresses is the transition of customers to consume more Australia Post services via mobile devices. Mobile accounts for 50 per cent of the company’s Web traffic now. Australian Post has taken the concept of mobility one step further by integrating the MyPost service with Apple’s Watch, such that its automated postal lockers can be opened by having the locker scan a Watch surface displaying the appropriate barcode.
While success of the program can be seen through the volume of registrations, van Lammeren claimed MyPost is also delivering the highest Net Promoter Scores ever across Australia Post.
“The experience is so simple to use,” van Lammeren says. “Once they sign up for it and use it, there is a high reuse of products and services. And we saw a dramatic increase in uptake of Parcel Lockers and Parcel Collect when we introduced the MyPost account.”
Future developments will see more personalised services brought into MyPost, such as for when a customer travels overseas or moves home. Van Lammeren says these new services will arise as a result of the behavioural data Australian Post is now able to glean through the service.
Australia Post is also investigating whether the service can be extended to other businesses, allowing MyPost customers to use their identity for non-Post services.
“We are talking to a lot of small businesses and online retailers to say how that can use that to provide better customer experience to their customers,” van Lammeren says.
“We’ve been part of the community for over 200 years. And we think MyPost and the digitisation of our services as a part of our evolution. And we are on a journey to provide our customer with ecommerce services, and we want to be that ecommerce provider, helping them to make life simpler and helping them in their world of online shopping and online selling.”
Read more about Australia Post's digital transformation:
- How Australia Post is improving test-and-learn around customer products
- How Australia Post’s IT and marketing chiefs lead digital change - together
- Australia Post earmarks $20m for Australian ecommerce innovation investment
- How CBA, Australia Post and Optus are wowing their customers
- Australia Post introduces QR code 'video stamps'