MaltaPost has launched a brand new e-commerce website geared particularly towards stamp collectors, using software systems provided by Maltese company Ascent Software.
The online portal at www.maltaphilately.com uses Ascent’s Swift Post bureau management software and e-commerce platform for the sale of stamps, sets and collectibles.
Ascent, which has its head office in Luqa, as well as a second office in the UK, provided its Swift Post out-of-the-box ecommerce platform that was then customised specifically for MaltaPost.
The project took eight weeks to deploy, including data migration and testing.
Swift Post sales and marketing manager Simon Azzopardi said the system has a full back-end functionality that includes a customer-facing module to maintain direct contact with customers, keeping them up to date with new products and sending them regular statements, as well as a Head Office module for postal staff to manage the back-end processes.
He said the nature of the web now means customers feel their requests will be seen to almost immediately, rather than days or weeks later, and that was where the Swift Post system excelled.
“Running a philatelic bureau is more than just maintaining client subscriptions and fufilling orders each time a new product is issued,” said Azzopardi.
“Having a web presence alone might in fact make life of the administration staff more difficult it the right tools are not in place to deal with the significant increase in requests being made online.”
MaltaPost is the first postal administration to use the Swift Post ecommerce platform, though others are also looking to deploy the solution, said Azzopardi.
Pierre Montobello, the chief operations officer at MaltaPost, said the strength of the system was in the way it brought together all the processes in one end-to-end system.
“Once an online purchase is made, the system automatically triggers a number of processes, such as the generation of the invoice to the client, the creation of a picking list with the necessary updates of stock levels, processing of the delivery of the item and managing the philatelic subscription account,” he explained.
“During the deployment, a number of sales had already started coming in. While we are still in early days, we are confident that this was the right move, and it has surpassed all our expectations.”
The Swift Post Head Office module for the ecommerce platform is the standard administration application used by all Swift Post products, which also include point-of-sale retail software, self-service postal kiosk software and PO box management systems.
The Swift retail counter automation system has previously been deployed at MaltaPost, in the British Virgin Islands, Barbados and in Guernsey.
Swift Post’s Forex foreign exchange software is in use in Guernsey, while its PO box management system is popular among operators in the Caribbean, the company said, particularly where operators do not deliver the last mile and PO boxes are the norm.
Source: Post&Parcel/Swift Post