Royal Mail to be one of the first postal authorities to add unique barcodes to stamps
Royal Mail is adding barcodes to a limited number of 2nd Class stamps from March 23rd, as part of the Company’s extensive modernisation drive. The unique barcodes are poised to pave the way for innovative customer services and benefits in future.
The initial pilot will see the new-look barcodes appear on around 20 million 2nd Class stamps supplied to UK businesses through the retailer Viking Direct and through Royal Mail online channels.
The barcodes, which will match the stamp colour, will sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforation line.
The initiative forms part of Royal Mail’s ongoing modernisation drive aimed at bringing even greater convenience to its customers.
In October, Royal Mail launched a parcel pick-up service across the UK in a shake-up of the daily round. Parcel Collect has enabled postmen and postwomen to collect parcels and returns from customers for a small fee while they carry out their daily round. As well as offering even higher levels of convenience, the move enables online sellers and online shoppers to mail or return a pre-paid item by post from the comfort of their own home.
In November Royal Mail launched additional inflight delivery options to offer greater convenience and flexibility for receiving customers. The move enables customers, who are not going to be at home to receive their item, to select alternative delivery options while the parcel is on its way. Under the changes, receiving customers are able to request delivery on another day or arrange to collect their items from Royal Mail Customer Service Points and Post Offices across the UK.
In December Royal Mail joined forces with a consortium of established UK drone companies – including DronePrep and Skyports – and addressing technology what3words, to become the first nationwide UK parcel carrier to transport a parcel for recipients via an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In a UK first, the consortium arranged an initial drone delivery to a remote lighthouse on the Isle of Mull.
The first barcoded stamps will be sold online to businesses from the 23rd March, via Viking Direct and the Royal Mail shop https://shop.royalmail.com/.
Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said: “This initiative will see Royal Mail become one of the first postal authorities in the world to add unique barcodes to stamps. By doing this, we are looking to transform the humble stamp so that we can offer our customers even more convenient, new services in the future. Royal Mail has a long and proud history for creating innovative and intuitive postal solutions. This goes all the way back to the Penny Black which established the principle of the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service – to the recent launch of Parcel Collect – where we pick up our customers’ parcels from the doorstep. The pilot of barcoded stamps reflects our commitment to constantly evolve our products and services in line with the ever-changing needs of our customers.”
Royal Mail has used barcode technology printed directly on to envelopes and labels for some time. For many years, business customers have used franking machines to print a pre-paid franking mark onto an envelope or a label for parcels, as well as printing a Mailmark barcode onto letters.