We operate in a competitive environment. Developments in this landscape influence market dynamics and may lead to a change of focus on specific topics. This provides relevant input when determining our key material topics. We face competition across our mail, parcels and international markets. Below we outline how we view this competition and our responses to it.
Ongoing market growth in our e-commerce markets continues to drive a great deal of interest from existing and new players, with industry competition remaining high. In addition, large (inter)national e-tailers are beginning to enter the delivery environment, choosing to fulfill part of the process themselves. We maintain our market-leading position in the B2C segment by providing high quality innovative services and solutions, and favourable pricing. At the same time, we continue to strengthen our position in the B2B segment, ensuring our services match or exceed those in the market. Going forward, we will focus on digital innovations, enhancing the customer experience, and competitive pricing to stay ahead of challengers.
“We will focus on digital innovations, enhancing customer experience to stay ahead of challengers.”
The competitive marketplace for physical mail is influenced by regulation, and substitution due to digitalisation. PostNL is the designated mail provider under the universal service obligation (USP) in the Netherlands, which requires us to maintain country-wide coverage and deliver on specific quality targets, which do not apply to other postal companies. Other postal operators in the market do continue to have access to our network.
The consolidation of PostNL and Sandd will help us secure accessible and reliable postal services at affordable prices. We continue to pro-actively engage with our stakeholders, including the government, to shape the future of postal services. We also continue to invest in marketing the value of mail through marketing campaigns and highlighting its benefits to customers.
E-commerce growth rates in the international market exceeded domestic growth rates in 2019, signalling the speed of the market's development. We continue to face challenging competition within the cross-border arena. In 2019 we reduced our dependence on the Asian market, creating more balance between Asia and Europe. Going forward, we see that data is becoming increasingly important. We are already including some data with packages sent internationally, and this will increase as requirements change. We will adapt to changing regulations and developments within the international environment.