Posted by Shirley Brady on February 27, 2012 12:29 PM
The United States Postal Service is in the midst of massive layoffs and soul-searching about its future, as it looks to cut 35,000 jobs as a way of dealing with its $18.2 billion annual loss, but it's still trying to innovate in a digital era when hand-delivered mail seems quaint.
The U.S. Postal Service has just launched a new mobile application for iPhone users that lets the device's camera scan barcodes on shipping labels for "quick, easy and convenient tracking of their packages and other mail. The application stores the label numbers so customers can easily recheck the status of their shipments. The scanner function is available on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2."
The U.S.P.S. release says the app builds "on services already available through the Postal Service's online mobile technology, including the ability to locate nearby Post Offices and find a ZIP Code. Postal Service mobile apps also are available for BlackBerry and Android. More than 3 million people each month use Postal Service mobile apps. Go to usps.com/mobile to learn more about these mobile solutions."
The Postal Service is also looking to more cross-marketing as a revenue source, with a promotion that launched on Valentine's Day offering a sweepstakes tied to a new heart health stamp with the Surgeon General and NBC's The Biggest Loser, as engineered by NBC Studios and the reality show's producer, Reveille. The fine print on the USPS contest page, below reads: "No celebrity endorsement implied."