WASHINGTON — Customers from two fast-growing U.S. populations — Spanish and Chinese speakers — will now be able to track packages, look up ZIP codes and learn about U.S. Postal Service products and services in Spanish and simplified Chinese on usps.com.
“We’re making it easier for our customers to take care of their mailing and shipping needs at a time and place that is most convenient and in a language that is most comfortable,” said Kelly Sigmon, vice president, Channel Access. “Translation of product pages and FAQs in Spanish and simplified Chinese is the latest example of how we’re improving customers’ experiences on our newly redesigned website.”
After English, Spanish and Chinese are the two most popular languages spoken in the United States. Simplified Chinese was selected for the Postal Service’s website because it’s the most common version in written communications.
Multilingual options are the first major functional improvements to usps.com since the recent launch of the site’s new look and feel. “Other major enhancements planned for the near future will build on the goal of expanding customer access to our products and services and improving customer service,” said Sigmon.
usps.com had 413 million visits in 2010 — more than 1.3 million each day. “Other companies have seen 1 to 3 percent of their traffic driven by their multilingual sites,” said Sigmon. “We’re hoping for the same results.”
According to the 2010 Census, the U.S. Hispanic population grew by 43 percent from 38 million in 2000 to 50 million in 2010 while the non-Hispanic population grew by only 4.9 percent. Of the 55.4 million people who speak a language other than English at home, 62 percent (34.5 million) speak Spanish, and 15 percent speak an Asian/Pacific Islander language. According to the 2009 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census, Chinese-Americans are the largest Asian group (3.8 million) in the United States.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.