- 20 May 2020
- Transport / Logistics Services
Irish postal operator An Post has launched an initiative to help get e-commerce working again in Ireland.
Businesses can access the programme by applying for an An Post Advantage Card for the period of the pandemic restrictions. This has three facets:
– Starting with a 25% discount on An Post parcel services during the pandemic period, there are to be discounts offered to Advantage Card members.
– A €1 million marketing fund has been added offering €1,000 worth of Direct Mail advertising to small firms for a local/national marketing drive. These will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis from 24 May.
– A special e-commerce advice hub for SMEs to get trading online. This hub has links to Local Enterprise Offices and other small business networks.
The initiative is in parallel with a range of other Irish Government programmes to get SMEs back in business and to light a fire under the economy.
Congratulating An Post on the initiative, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment said: “By providing practical support, with discounted parcel services and potential for local advertising, An Post is supporting local businesses to stay in touch with their communities and customers during this exceptionally difficult time. As we all adjust to the new normal, the new advice hub will provide expertiseÂ and advice to all SMEs as they plan for their return to business.”
Garrett Bridgeman, MD of An Post Mails & Parcels explained that this is Phase 1 of a phased support programme for SMEs with a new direct mail service for consumer product samplesÂ and a regional initiative centred around local Post Offices also being put in place to assist small firms.
He said, “Small businesses are transforming to meet the needs of customers and An Post’s expertise and reach is helping Irish SMEs open up for business, even if their door is closed. There’s lots to be learned from the global e-commerce players in getting the digital impact, service quality and customer focus in place from the start. By adding the power of post and the convenience of the local post office to deliver a personal, human touch, we can give Irish companies a real advantage in the national and international marketplace.
“Also we’ll have emission-free deliveries in every Irish city by the end of this year and we’re already swapping out diesel vans for our electric vehicles in towns and suburbs across the country. There’ll be over 1,000 electric An Post vehicles on Irish roads by 2021 and we know this is of growing importance to online sellers and shoppers” he added.