When it comes to ecommerce shipping, there’s no limit to the amount of delivery options companies have to offer to customers. Today, it’s all about expedited shipping but we’ll be talking about many different delivery options in this guide, such as;
- Two Day Shipping
- Next Day Shipping
- Same Day Shipping
- Standard Shipping
- Priority Shipping
- Expedited Shipping
- Free Shipping
Today, we’re talking all about expedited shipping, what it means and what you should know about it.
What Is Expedited Shipping?
Expedited shipping refers to using a delivery or shipping method that promises to get to customers faster than the standard delivery option. The exact turnaround can vary depending on the retailer’s shipping options. If you place an order and it normally takes 4 days to receive it, expedited shipping means it will arrive sooner than 4 days.
How Does Expedited Shipping Compare To Other Fulfillment Options?
The type of delivery services you choose vary on a lot of different things, such as product margins, logistics cost, ecommerce fulfillment strategy, customer locations and many more components. One ecommerce store can have different expedited shipping needs versus another, every scenario is unique and differs.
You may be wondering, how does expedited shipping compare to other delivery methods? Let’s check a few out.
Express Shipping VS Expedited Shipping
Express shipping can mean a lot of different things, depending on the fulfillment company and carrier.
When express shipping is offered with expedited shipping, it usually means this;
- Express Shipping: Usually a 2 Day or Next Day delivery option
- Expedited Shipping: Faster than Standard Delivery
Standard Shipping VS Expedited Shipping
In most scenarios, standard shipping is usually the cheapest shipping option. While it depends on the fulfillment partner you work and specific carrier, typical orders are going to take 3-7 days to get to your customers with this shipping option.
Now, you do see a lot of companies promoting 2 day delivery as their standard delivery. That’s not always the case, some companies are clear that standard delivery means you’re going to be waiting a little longer to receive your order. Now, these stores may have an expedited delivery option available for customers to choose, next day or 2 day. After all, you want your customers to have several delivery options to choose from.
We should also point out, most retailers count shipping time when the order is shipped out, not when it’s purchased online or another means. If you choose 2 day for your delivery option, it could take longer than 2 days to receive that order.
2 Day Shipping Or Next Day Shipping
For some retailers, expedited orders ship out with a 2 day or next day turnaround time. For others, 2 day delivery is the standard. Every ecommerce business will position their shipping options in ways they see are most fit for customers.
Thanks to Amazon Prime, ecommerce companies are feeling the pressure to provide 2 day and next day shipping options to keep customer service levels high.
Expedited Shipping By Company
There’s a number of different companies that offer expedited shipping services. It’s also important to note that each company’s definition of expedited shipping can differ, so it’s important to know and understand what each definition means per company. Let’s take a quick look at the most popular expedited shipping options per company and what it means for each company.
(1) U.S.P.S. (United States Postal Service)
With U.S.P.S., expedited shipping usually refers to express shipping or priority shipping. Both of these shipping options are faster than the customary first-class shipping service. Priority mail allows mail to reach most locations within 2-3 days while express shipping would be the fastest shipping available. With express shipping, you can get overnight delivery.
FedEx is another shipping company that has a lot of different expedited shipping options. The shipping services that fall into this category include FedEx Same Day delivery; FedEx First Overnight, an early morning next-day service; FedEx Priority Overnight; and FedEx Standard Overnight. The company also includes second-day delivery services, which are faster than the FedEx Home Delivery or Ground services. We’ve covered FedEx SmartPost in prior content.
(3) USPS (United Parcel Service)
The United Parcel Service, or USPS, offers a number of different expedited services also. They include: same-day delivery through Express Critical service; Next Day Air; Next Day Air Early A.M.; Next Day Air Saver; 2nd Day Air; 2nd Day Air A.M.; and UPS 3-Day Select, all of these are faster than traditional UPS Ground Service.
Why Should Ecommerce Stores Offer Expedited Shipping?
This is a great question, there’s actually a number of different ways expedited shipping can help your ecommerce store. We’ll go ahead and cover the big 4.
(1) Exceed Customer Expectations
There’s no question about it, consumers want faster shipping options, even if they choose standard delivery.
Think about it, when you get an order that arrives a day or two early, how do you feel? Probably pretty excited, right? How do you think your customers will feel if you can exceed their expectations by getting their orders to them a day early?
(2) Reduce Abandoned Carts
Every ecommerce retailer has to deal with abandoned carts. There’s a ton of different strategies to reduce them, one of those strategies is by offering more delivery services. According to Metapack, 45 percent of shoppers abandoned carts because a lack of delivery options. Wow!
If you want to immediately reduce abandoned carts (and I know you do), add more options for your delivery.
(3) Higher Conversions And More Sales
Not only can more delivery options reduce abandoned carts, it can also increase conversions and sales. Who doesn’t want more conversions and sales?
Think about your customers, shipping is super important to most consumers and when they have options, they’re more likely to buy than not.
(4) Building Loyalty Among Your Tribe
A happy customer is a repeat customer. Ever hear of that saying?
Now, not every happy customers will buy again but you best believe many of them will. Just like the example we used above, when we get our order early, we’re happy campers. This immediately builds brand loyalty. On the other end, if your customers are getting orders a day or two late, those consumers are not going to be happy.
When customers are happy, they feel good. In a world where social proof counts for a lot, excited customers are more likely to give your company a shoutout. While one shoutout is certainly not a lot, imagine hundreds of these going out each day. The secret is simple, keep customers happy and excited. You offering expedited shipping services is a simple way to create a lot of loyalty for your company.
Expedited Shipping Cost
Expedited shipping cost can vary based on a lot of different factors, so the prices below are not meant to be an exact cost example. Rather, we’re just trying to give you a base idea of how much it cost. Due to seasonal trends, dimensional weight, package weight, items shipped, shipping zones and other factors, expedited shipping cost will vary.
Here’s an example of expedited shipping cost for each carrier based on a 3 day delivery turnaround for a large box.
- FedEx Express Saver – $19.05
- UPS 3 Day Select – $39.88
- USPS Priority Main – $20.68
Here’s an example of overnight delivery for each carrier mailing a large box.
- UPS Next Day – $97.44
- FedEx Express Same Day – $85.70
- USPS Priority Mail Express Delivery (By 10:30A) – $45.44
If you’re looking to streamline expedited shipping costs and save time on the complete order fulfillment process , consider partnering with a 3PL. In fact, it’s likely your order fulfillment cost will be less than you think.
How To Offer Expedited Shipping Without Killing Margins
Now, we’ve been a part of the shipping game for decades, we know margins are often a concern. There’s a few different strategies we want to tell you that will help you offer expedited shipping to your customers without hurting your margins.
(1) Using Multiple Fulfillment Centers
Expedited shipping can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re familiar with how shipping zones work, you know the less distance a package has to travel, the faster and less expensive it is to reach your customers. If you have the opportunity to distribute inventory to multiple fulfillment centers near your customers, you will reach customers faster with ground shipping.
When you can offer expedited ground shipping to your customers, at a much lower cost than expedited air shipping, this tactic can also help you reduce abandoned carts. Now, that doesn’t include also increasing conversions and sales because more customers are going to buy with new shipping options, it can be a win-win for your company.
(2) Outsourcing Your Order Fulfillment To A 3PL
Outsourcing shipping and fulfillment to a 3PL can help your ecommerce business leverage shipping options, discounts and technology not available to those who fulfill orders in-house. Thill Inc. is a 3PL that helps ecommerce merchants meet customer expectations around expedited orders to grow their business.
When an order is assigned to expedited shipping , our fulfillment software automatically gives it priority and bypasses the normal standard shipping option. When our fulfillment team gets it, we get it shipped accurately, quickly and efficiently.
Thill’s technology is already integrated with all of the top ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, Magento, Ebay, Amazon, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and CrateJoy. By connecting your ecommerce store to Thill’s technology, merchants will be able to automatically push customer orders to a Thill Inc. fulfillment center to be picked, packed and shipped.
Online merchants can also distribute their inventory to multiple Thill fulfillment centers that are close to their end customers to further compete by reducing shipping costs and speed. This lets merchants offer their customers affordable expedited services that they would otherwise not be able to offer customers.
Learn More About Expedited Shipping
Ready to learn more about expedited shipping? Give our fulfillment experts a call today at 1-920-967-9201 and we’ll help you with all your shipping and fulfillment needs.