eCommerce has been gaining momentum in the past couple of years mainly because of the ease, simplicity and convenience that it brings to both consumers and business owners. With 24 hours a day not enough for all our tasks and chores, online shopping has become a saviour of the Internet generation. No time to go grocery shopping? Just log into your favourite grocery site then click all the items that you need, pay via credit card and wait for the items to be delivered to you by the local post. Very easy right? But the thing is, online businesses are now faced with a potential problem – rising postal prices. Rising postal prices would mean an increase in shipping charges creating a butterfly effect.
Rising postal prices would affect incoming and outgoing shipments of an eCommerce business. That would of course, lead to an increase in the end product that we, consumers buy. If the price of ordering online will be higher than physically going to a store then what purpose does eCommerce serve? Consumers would make an effort to go to the store and just buy from there if it can save them a few pounds.
Making postage cheaper for businesses.
One solution that can be used by online businesses is the franking machine. What is a franking machine, you say? A franking machine automatically stamps or prints the equivalent of a Royal Mail stamp onto letters or packages passing through it. It also computes the total charge and can process many items of post at once.
Owning such a machine can give a business owner numerous benefits. You can save time and money and have the convenience of streamlining the process in your office. And did you know that you can actually get a discount by franking your mail before posting it? You get discounts on each franked mail no matter how much post you send.
And because a franking machine can automatically compute the total charge of your mail, you will never over (or under) stamp again. You can also be creative with your franking machine. You can add your logo, slogan or any business message that you have to your mails. A franking machine now becomes a marketing tool. You can even change your messages everyday!
Finally, owning a franking machine gives you accountability and makes expenditure recording easy.
So now comes the ultimate question. How much is a franking machine? Well, the basic ones cost from under £1,000. The most expensive ones can cost up to £22,000 but these machines come with an automatic feeder, stacker and envelope sealer and can process up to 300 mails per day.
If you’re a small business and are not ready to commit to a brand new machine, there is also the option of renting. If you send between 5 and 50 items of mail per day you might want to consider an entry level machine such as the Autostamp2 for around £17 a month, while a Pitney Bowes DM50 can be rented for around £20 per month. Of course, you have to take into consideration maintenance and servicing. If you opt to rent a franking machine, be sure to ask if these fees are already included in the monthly rental.
eCommerce will face a lot of obstacles as it matures. Gladly, there are solutions such as the franking machine that will help eCommerce overcome these obstacles. Be sure to compare franking machines to get the best deal.