There are many different types of shipping options that eCommerce shops can offer to their customers: 2-day, next day, same day, priority, standard, or expedited. What do they all mean? Which ones are the best options to have available for your eCommerce customers?
Customers want their items fast, or they might go somewhere else to buy them. So let’s take a look at expedited shipping and what that can mean for your eCommerce business and your customers.
Expedited shipping is a shipping option that gives priority over others, allowing faster delivery dates. The time frame for expedited shipping can vary based on place of origin, destination, and carrier.
However, packages shipped with expedited shipping typically are delivered in under 3 days.
The delivery times for expedited shipping depend on the carrier. Typically, it would only take 2 or 3 days for a package sent via expedited shipping to arrive at its destination.
Although it can take more or less depending on a few key factors:
If a package sent with standard shipping takes 5 to 8 days, then the expedited shipping would take 2 or 3 days less. Expedited shipping can be as fast as the same day or the next day if the origin and destination locations are close.
Expedited delivery times also depend on the carrier. Some carriers have different policies and timelines than others. USPS Priority, UPS Next Day, FedEx Priority Overnight, or Next Day…these are just a few of the expedited shipping services you can use to get your goods to your customers fast.
Choosing a carrier will impact not only the time it takes to get the packages to where they’re going but also where you can ship to. Some carriers have limitations on where you can ship with expedited shipping services, so as long as you are shipping domestically you should be able to select any carrier.
If you have an international customer, on the other hand, you will need to choose a carrier that can handle speedy international deliveries.
A question that comes up a lot is what the difference between expedited and standard shipping is.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the key differences between the 2 shipping options for eCommerce stores:
Standard shipping in the U.S. is typically 3 to 7 business days, whereas expedited shipping can be as quick as next day (excluding the processing time for your business or shipping partner to package and prep the items for shipping).
With a faster shipping timeline, there comes an increased expedited shipping cost. There are a few ways to mitigate the cost for your business (and your customers) that we’ll mention later.
If you use certain carriers, they may not be able to guarantee expedited shipping to other countries, including Canada and Mexico – or even to states outside the contiguous United States.
UPS offers a variety of shipping options, including expedited services. Some of the expedited options include their next-day, 2-day, and 3-day shipping guarantees, which are all faster than the standard ground shipping options through UPS (which is about 5 days).
Another benefit of UPS is that with their UPS Worldwide expedited freight shipping, you can ship from more than 200 countries with fast shipping.
Another popular expedited shipping option is through USPS. Their Priority Mail Express shipping option is their fastest service in the United States. Packages under 70 pounds can ship overnight delivery.
Included with this shipping option from USPS is tracking, so you and your customer can follow the package through shipping.
Because expedited shipping is faster, it is more expensive than other shipping options. The exact expedited shipping costs will vary based on weight, dimensions, destination, service, and other factors.
Here are some rough guidelines so you can know what to expect with expedited shipping:
Are you considering offering additional expedited delivery services to keep up with the competition and keep your customers happy?
If so, here are some of the main benefits that your business will gain from including expedited shipping in your service offering:
The main purpose of expedited shipping is to save time and get orders to your customers faster. When money isn’t as much of a concern, or when your customer needs or wants the item faster, having expedited shipping options can help you make the sale instead of the customer going somewhere else for the items.
If you sell perishable items like baked goods or frozen food, you need faster shipping. Even when you pack with insulation and ice packs, you only buy yourself so much time.
Expedited shipping can get packages to where they’re going faster – and keep the perishable products in better shape until they get to their final destination.
Let’s face it – people are used to 2-day shipping these days. You can keep your customers happier and reduce cart abandonment by having quick shipping options available.
This way, the customer gets what they want sooner and they don’t have to keep checking on their order status once they have their tracking information.
With expedited shipping, your items spend less time in your inventory and sitting in storage. This can help to reduce your storage costs, saving you money in this area so you can refocus your money on other areas of your business (including expanded shipping options!).
When you offer a variety of shipping options, the costs associated with shipping for your business can rise. However, you can find creative ways to reduce the expedited shipping costs, so that your business and your customers don’t suffer!
Here are some options to mitigate the costs associated with offering an expedited shipping service:
One of the ways to offer expedited shipping without losing out on your profit margin is to require a minimum order threshold for expedited shipping (especially if you are going to offer it for free or cover some of the costs for your customers).
If you choose to go this way, then you should set the minimum order amount higher than your average order value. This may even help you see an increase in order value over time too, as people add more items to their cart to qualify!
Another way to mitigate the costs is to outsource your order fulfillment and shipping to a third-party logistics provider (3PL). 3PLs help eCommerce businesses leverage shipping options and technology that may not otherwise be available to them.
They also negotiate costs and can offer discounts on expedited shipping services that your business may not receive otherwise because the 3PL has relationships established with shipping providers.
12 strategically located fulfillment facilities. Our logistics experts help clients optimize their inventory spread in multiple facilities so they can ship to their clients quickly and save on shipping costs.
Our fulfillment experts know how to pack orders in a way that saves clients money by selecting the best package size, sometimes saving clients $6-$7 on each package shipped.
If you think it’s time to offer expedited shipping options to your customers, you need to find the right 3PL partner.
At Rakuten Super Logistics, now ShipNetwork, our experienced fulfillment teams bring benefits like order accuracy, next-day fulfillment, and a 1 to 2-day U.S. ground delivery network that can get your orders filled quickly. Our teams can work quickly to keep your customers happy while helping you keep shipping costs manageable for your business.
When your eCommerce business is ready to add additional shipping and fulfillment services, get in touch for a quote to learn about ShipNetworks’ order fulfillment and expedited shipping services.
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