U.S. Small Business and Home Office Spending on PC Postage Will Increase at Blazing Speed, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 2, 2000 — The United States Postal Service (USPS) gave the go ahead for PC postage in August 1999. By yearend, only four months later, U.S. small businesses and home offices had already spent $8.2 million on the product, and according to market research firm IDC, they're just getting warmed up. In 2000, their annual spending will approach $300 million, and by yearend 2001, it will soar past $600 million.

Despite the fact home businesses outnumber U.S. small businesses, IDC expects small businesses will be 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% of their total first-class spending. Additionally, they will spend more on PC postage for overnight express mail, second-day, and parcel-post packages.

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. According to IDC, 9.5% 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 Office 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," Boggs said.

IDC's new report, Small Business PC Postage (IDC #B21014), analyzes small businesses' current use of different postal solutions and sizes the opportunity associated with new PC and Internet postage products and services. The small business market for PC postage is forecast through 2003. Additionally, profiles of the major PC and Internet postage suppliers are included. To order a copy of the report, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 6787 or at psteeves@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 42 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

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