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UPU: Making e-commerce work for everyone


The Universal Postal Union (UPU) had just released the latest version of E-commerce Guide, titled: “UPU E-Commerce Guide” 2020. The guide was published in 2014 and the last update was in 2015. The latest version of the E-commerce Guide consists of materials gathered over the past two years of studying the evolution of the postal sector activities in e-commerce. Included in the guide are new and expanded information on recent trends, business models, e-commerce key elements, strategies and UPU enablers to facilitate e-commerce.  

It was mentioned in the article that the E-commerce Guide highlights the strong connection between Posts – as part of the global postal network that the UPU oversees. It also offers updated information on postal e-commerce business models, delivery services and tools. The guide encourages Posts to develop fully integrated digital strategies for e-commerce consolidating capability and opportunity for integration between physical, digital and payments services.

The UPU’s guide also shows how the UPU is responding to the needs of the postal sector. The UPU’s main goal is to ensure seamless cross-border e-commerce using the multifunctional integrated postal infrastructure to provide all the world’s citizens with simple, reliable access to postal services.  

When we have a thorough look into this UPU E-commerce Guide, we will find a very comprehensive information on e-commerce  business. 

The guide is organised into the following main sections:   

  • Market trends and drivers: presentation of significant global, regional and domestic ecommerce market trends and opportunities;
  • E-commerce key elements: description of the main aspects of an e-commerce structure;  
  • E-commerce business models and strategies: explanation of possible e-commerce business models for Posts, from parcel delivery to e-marketplaces;
  • UPU enablers for e-commerce: technical assistance and tools available for the development of e-commerce services. 

This guide also touch on the values that an e-commerce business should comprise, as well as how to create the values through the comprehensive value chain. Business models and strategies to deal with e-commerce market are also well described in a systematic and comprehensive way in this guide. 

In brief, the UPU E-commerce Guide provides information, principles and practical recommendations that can help Posts in building their business models and services. Each model built will take into account specific business strategies, market situations, capabilities and other product management issues, beyond the principles covered in this document.

It is no exaggeration to say that this guide will provide policymakers, regulators and postal operators with a set of strategic considerations and concrete actions to ready their country’s infrastructure for the demands of e-commerce and ensure that the everyone can be included in the market. 


  2. boostingECommerceAHowToGuideForPostalOperatorsEn.pdf

Commentary by Said Haryadi


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