The world of shipping goods has had somewhat of a speed revolution. It is not uncommon for large retailers to offer two-day delivery, one-day delivery, or even same-day delivery. Large retailers have the budgets and infrastructure to provide such services, but what of your smaller e-commerce business?
This article is intended to inform smaller business owners whose stores are powered by the Shopify platform about expedited shipping and if it’s right for you.
The holidays are coming, and your online store may be prepared for them. You’ve been updating products, forecasting and managing inventory, and tracking sales. You have to deliver those items on time for your holiday customers to receive their gifts. What can you do to make sure everything goes smoothly? How do you choose a shipping option that will work for you?
Defining Expedited Shipping
In the simplest terms, expedited shipping is a way for logistics hubs to prioritize specific shipments, helping ensure they arrive at their designated address in the shortest possible time. This is relative to how long a standard shipment would take and can differ between companies. In the relatively short time that corporations have offered fast delivery, Migway has seen several iterations of the concept, but what has remained the same is that expedited shipping is always intended to be faster than standard shipping.
Shipping is the term used to include everything from intercontinental air freight and ocean freight, domestic truck freight, and last-mile delivery on bicycle or motorcycle. Here standard shipping can be anything from months to days to under an hour. It depends on what is being transported and where it is intended to go after it leaves its destination. Expedited shipping must be faster than what the company determines to be “standard.”
For example, domestic shipping within the US is a five to eight-day affair. That would be considered by many to be standard shipping. Shipping that takes three days or less is then regarded as expedited. The vehicles tasked with delivery will take fewer stops, or two drivers will be assigned to a truck to eliminate specific rest periods. These are some tricks the trade logistics companies will use to improve the time taken to make a delivery.
Is expedited shipping right for your e-commerce business?
The most significant advantage of expedited shipping is the speed at which deliveries can be completed. This has several knock-on effects as advantages, like typically expedited shipping experiences fewer losses and damages. For high-value and fragile items, this is undoubtedly an advantage. However, this all comes at a significantly higher cost to yourself. Also, your shipping partner might limit what forms of expedited shipping, if any. Also, certain events can slow delivery times even if expedited; weather and the recent epidemic are just two examples.
With some of the pros and cons being covered, some stats might help you decide if offering such a service to your customers is worth it. According to the Bayard Institute, around one in five Americans abandon their online shopping carts due to extended delivery times. Lazership found that 60% of respondents would pay for faster delivery.
Expedited shipping is driven by consumers and the high level of convenience it offers. However, it is not as simple as saying yes to expedited shipping. You will have to do your due diligence is seeing if it is a good fit for you and your customers. That being said, expedited shipping is becoming more common, especially in well-developed countries, with competition amongst logistic companies keeping prices competitive. Now would be the tie to consider how best to serve your current and future customer base.