Almost 40% of businesses have seen a decline in the amount of standard post received over the past two years, according to a ComReg survey.

According to the regulator’s 2013 SME and Consumer Postal User Survey, the rise in electronic communication was cited as the main reason for the fall, with companies expecting this trend to continue over the coming 24 months.

Almost three quarters of companies said they received payment by post, with 80% of those saying they would prefer to receive this electronically.

In terms of their postal company of choice, 98% of the 501 SMEs surveyed said they used An Post as their main provider.

The vast majority of companies – 90% - are aware of alternatives but just one third actively use them, with price and speed of delivery being the main motivator.

Almost 80% of those asked said they expected to only use An Post in the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, half of those asked had no preference about the introduction of postcodes. 40% were in favour of their implementation, while just 10% were opposed.

Of the 1,000 consumers surveyed, 98% use An Post as their main provider, while 92% said the semi-State would be their first choice for sending post.

The majority of consumers – 84% - had internet access and 42% of those had ordered goods requiring delivery in the past month.

However nearly two-thirds of consumers said they preferred to receive bills and statements via post, as opposed to online.

15% of consumers have had issues with An Post’s service in the past year, mainly relating to delivery, with people living in Leinster most.

Of the 51% of consumers that expressed a preference in relation to postcodes, most were in favour of their introduction.