Photo of articles scattered on the floor.

College Students Receiving Packages Not 'Old School'

Pay attention to increasing package volumes

A lot of things are digital now, but people still love to get physical packages in the mail. College students are no exception. In fact, 95 percent of Americans believe college students look forward to receiving packages at school from friends and family. With students shopping online for electronics, textbooks, medications and other items, they’re likely receiving more packages than ever.¹

The above finding is part of an online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Ricoh. The online survey was conducted August 31-September 2, 2015 in the U.S. with 2,053 adults aged 18 and over (among which 170 are college students). 

Resist the trend of late mail delivery

Unfortunately, many recipients don't receive mail and packages on time, with 494 million pieces not reaching their destinations within their allotted time frames.² This is happening in spite of the fact that first-class single piece mail volume, consisting of stamped items like bill payments, cards and letters, was down 39 percent between 2008 and 2014.³

Design efficient, student-centered mailcenters

Despite the shifting mix of mail types and volumes, many colleges have mailcenters designed for the 1950s. Back then, students received paper mail every day but only one or two packages a year. Students aren't receiving their mail and packages in a timely manner now because they don't know they have mail:

• Approximately 3 out of 4 college students in the survey said it would be helpful to receive immediate notification of a package and/or mail delivery.

Yet mailcenters are the preferred pick-up location:

• More than three-quarters (77 percent) of survey respondents believe that packages and letters are safer being delivered to a mailcenter than to a dorm or off-campus apartment.

Turn "you've got mail" into a positive experience

In old-fashioned mailrooms, too much space is devoted to mailboxes designed for letters in envelopes and too little space to the growing volume of larger packages. When campuses reengineer the physical space, technology and workflows, they can support the way students live today. Ricoh has done this for Florida International University, Lehigh University, Loyola University Maryland and the University of South Alabama. Students can pick up mail without wasting time standing in long lines:

• Packages are tracked throughout the mailcenter using a barcode system.

• Addressees receive email notification that a letter or package has arrived.

• To pick up mail and packages, students visit the mailcenter and swipe their student ID card at a self-service kiosk.

• Mailcenter staffers are alerted by the card swipe, retrieve the items and present them to the student when he or she reaches the counter.

Showcase a modern campus mail system

The mail system is an important differentiator among colleges and universities that are competing for the best students. When campuses modernize mail and package delivery, they raise the quality of the student experience and lower cost at the same time.

Learn more about Ricoh's Campus Mail & Packages Solutions.

For a complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please see the contact information in the press release.

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  1. 1Washington Post, 8/26/2015, Post Office can't even meet its own lower standards as late mail soars
  2. 2Washington Post,8/26/2015, Post Office can't even meet its own lower standards as late mail soars
  3. 3