If yours is a growing business and you have not outsourced to 3PL, you’re probably spending a significant amount of time sending out mail and parcels. For sure, the COVID-19 pandemic has made things a little harder, too, with most clients stuck at home and having all their needs delivered at their doorstep. If you’re looking for ways to ship more efficiently, you can try printing postage online.

What is online postage?

Online postage is a type of web-based service that allows users to secure shipping capabilities and pay for them electronically. In other words, you can buy stamps online using a mailing app and have your parcel picked up and delivered for you. Software used for online postage has the following standard features:

  • It allows you to purchase and print your own stamps.
  • It lets you pay for your shipping labels and print them where you are.
  • It enables you to access your digitally saved address book.
  • It helps you with package tracking.
  • It lets you integrate your postage expenses into your financial reports for analysis.
  • It enables you to optimize shipping costs for both you and your clients.

What are the advantages of buying online postage?

1. It will help you save money.

printing online postage saves money

Aside from the fuel that you won’t be using, online postage providers can give you shipping discounts, helping you save on costs.

    • First-class stamps can be cheaper by 30%.
    • Priority mail may be discounted by as much as 40%.
    • Priority mail express can cost 55% less. 
    • Shipping insurance is cheaper by up to 40%.
    • Greater discounts are given for bulk shipments.

Discounts upon discounts mean more savings for you!

2. It will help save you time.

Not all USPS branches are built the same. The one in your neighborhood can be too far for comfort and may look this crowded and gloomy on a good day.

printing online postage saves time

Printing postage online helps you avoid traffic and skip the queues.

    • You can print your label and get your document and parcel picked up wherever you are in the US.
    • The software allows you to seamlessly import your address book from your computer to speed up labeling.
    • You can track your packages from your mobile device.
    • The most popular services have interfaces that are easy to learn and use.

3. You can maximize your shipment options.

postage details and print details for online printing postage

Most customers demand affordable shipping. The ability to deliver cheap can elevate your business from average to game-changer. Keep in mind that:

    • Every year, 3 out of 4 Americans make purchases that require postage.
    • Half of retail customers abandon planned purchases because of high shipping rates.
    • 4 out of 5 consumers will look for stores with free shipping.
    • 1 out of 5 prefers expedited delivery.

 

The discounts you get from online postage sites can make it easier for you to offer cheap and fast shipping.

4. Maintain the professional appearance of your package.

We all have that friend who is still fond of sending and receiving letters written by hand. Chances are, a huge fraction of your clientele does too. However, entrepreneurs like you cannot do this to the hundreds of documents and items needing to be shipped in the daily course of business.

Can you imagine the fatigue on your good hand while writing the 46th envelope’s address? You also risk your customer receiving your mail like this:

envelope with stamps, address and postage

By printing postage online, you can simply import your digital address book into the app and make hundreds of stamps and shipping labels in minutes. No muss, no fuss! Plus, you can ensure that your packages reach your customers looking neat and expertly done. Print using Dymo labels or Brother labels for best results.

5. It will help you avoid confusion about the true shipping costs.

So you just offered a huge shipping discount during your semi-annual sale, but there’s a catch. To safeguard some of the profit, you decided that the final costs should include the packaging expenses. When you went to the post office to have the sold items shipped, the postage fees stamped on the package were lower than what the customers paid for. How do you think they will react when they spot the difference?

how customers react when they see the difference between online and offline postage purchasing

Purchasing postage online can help you avoid such incidents by letting you print the exact shipping price.

6. Printing postage online will help you cut costs on delivery confirmation.

Printing postage online will help you cut costs on delivery confirmation

Shippers get added peace of mind when they know that their parcel made it safe and sound to the recipient. 

As of the second half of 2020, USPS’ Signature Confirmation service is priced at $3.15 when purchased at their offices.

By comparison, other online postage services may offer the same for $2.65 per item, lower for bulk shipments. The delivery information can be accessed online or via phone and is available for one year after the delivery date.

7. You can avoid errors in printing mailing addresses.

usps tool

When you type your addressee’s location on the online postage app, the site immediately connects with the USPS database to verify if you have entered the information correctly. This helps ensure that your package reaches the right address, minimizing costly returns and delivery delays.

8. You can put your logo on the postage stamp.

putting logo on postage stamp

With online postage software, you can customize your shipping labels by including your logo. This is one way of promoting your brand. 

You can use enKo Products’ direct thermal labels to send to hundreds of clients daily. On the other hand, if you have an artsy logo that is better off printed in ink, you may want to brandish it instead on our sheet labels.

9. Most services are available 24/7.

If your store keeps you too busy to drive to the post office during its usual hours, you can still ensure your goods’ timely delivery by accessing online postage services. You can pay for your shipment and print your labels anywhere, any time of the day and just schedule pickup dates for your parcels.

24-7 services for online postage

10. You can make sure that your business stamp is compliant with USPS regulations.

In 2015, USPS started requiring the inclusion of the Intelligent Package Barcode, or IMpb, on metered parcels to enhance their domestic tracking visibility.

Additionally, registering for the Intelligent Mail for Small Business (or IMsb) Tool entitles small businesses to postage discounts of as much as 50%. When sending through the post office, the barcode is printed on a separate label, which risks getting overlooked or torn off. Without it, you may be deemed non-compliant and forced to pay the full retail price and other surcharges.

usps tracking barcode

On the other hand, when you print your shipping labels online, the barcode automatically appears on the tag. Plus, when your business is registered with IMsb, some online postage providers will offer you even bigger discounts.

Where can I buy online postage?

You can buy online postage from the following sites:

  • USPS
  • Endicia
  • PayPal
  • Pitney Bowes
  • ShipStation
  • Stamps.com

Conclusion

If your mailing chores are increasingly becoming a hassle, you can speed things up by printing your postage online. Online postage software is easy to use, and many providers offer tremendous discounts for small businesses. Printing your own shipping labels also has other benefits that can let you ship smarter and increase your earnings.

References:

Artman, J. (n. d.). Internet Postage Pros and Cons. Chron.com Small Business. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/internet-postage-pros-cons-45559.html.

Binder, P. (2014). Online Postage and Shipping: The Advantages for Small Business. Pitney Bowes. https://www.slideshare.net/pitneybowes/online-postage-shipping-the-advantages-for-small-business.

Endicia. Ship Faster for Less. https://www.endicia.com/online-seller/.

Stamps.com. USPS Signature Confirmation. https://www.stamps.com/usps/signature-confirmation/.

United States Postal Service. Intelligent Mail Small Business (IMsb) Tool. https://gateway.usps.com/eAdmin/view/knowledge?securityId=IMSB.

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