Study: SOHO Spending on PC Postage To Increase

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A study released yesterday by International Data Corp., Framingham, MA, found that U.S. small businesses and home offices have spent $8.2 million on PC postage products authorized by the U.S. Postal Service, and by the end of the year, annual spending will approach $300 million.

With PC postage, customers print a USPS-approved barcode with postage and

address information using their own printers, ink, and labels or envelopes.

Depending on what solution they choose, customers can download and print the postage while they are online or they can download ahead of time.

The IDC study, called Small Business PC Postage, also found that by year-end 2001, the spending will soar past $600 million.

IDC found these numbers particular impressive, since it has only been four months since USPS gave the two leading PC Postage companies-E-Stamp Corp., San Mateo, CA and, Santa Monica, CA-the go ahead to begin selling its products nationwide.

In addition, according to IDC, 9.5 percent of small business PC owners are very interested in PC postage, an exceptional interest level for a new product category.

Raymond Boggs, vice president of IDC's small business and home business research program, believes the convenience in printing postage is only one part of the

technology's appeal.

"PC postage brings the SOHO mailroom into the 21st century from the 19th century. Managing mail lists, targeting prospects, and delivering material effectively can all be done by the smallest firms," said Boggs.

IDC also found that despite the fact that home businesses outnumber US small businesses, the company expects small businesses to responsible for the lion's share of PC postage spending because the number of small businesses moving to PC postage and the average spending per company will be greater than that of home-based businesses.

IDC estimates small businesses alone will spend $212 million on PC postage in

2000, accounting for almost 3 percent of their total first-class spending. Additionally, they will spend more on PC postage for overnight express mail, second-day, and parcel-post packages.

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