These are some commonly asked questions people have about 2-day shipping.
Does 2-day Shipping Really Mean 2 Days?
Both consumers and merchants are sometimes confused by the use of the terms 2-day shipping and 2-day delivery. Does it mean the order will be in the customer’s hands in 2 days or does it mean it will be shipped from the seller’s shipping center within 2 days?
In most cases it means that the delivery time of the package will be 2 days, but the clock does not start until the order actually ships from the fulfillment center. Before the order is ready to leave, it must be picked, packed, and properly labeled.
Depending on the time of day of the order and how busy the fulfillment center is, this can all be completed the same day the order is placed.
If an order is placed late at night, in most cases that order is going to go out the next day and the 2-day shipping clock would begin then.
Sometimes when merchants offer 2-day shipping, it is actually 2 business days. They do not do any order fulfillment or shipping over the weekend. If an order is placed Friday, it may not ship out that day and would not ship out until Monday in that case.
If the order needs to actually be dropped off at a post office or to UPS for shipping, 2-day shipping will normally mean from when the package is dropped off to ship.
Other times, 2-day shipping means it will take the seller up to 2 days to get the order prepared and shipped. It does not refer to how long the package will be in the delivery system.
The most important thing as a seller is to make sure you have clearly stated your shipping methods and shipping policy. If you are partnering with a logistics and order fulfillment company, be certain your definition of 2-day shipping is the same as theirs.
Is 2-Day Shipping Guaranteed? What Happens if the Deadline is Missed?
It depends on the merchant and carrier in question. Some 2-day shipping offers are guaranteed and will offer a refund on any packaging and shipping charges if the order is not delivered on time.
Guarantees will also often depend on the shipping method chosen and will have a cutoff time each day.
Even with guarantees, sometimes packages do not make it to their destination on time. Carriers can be impacted by weather conditions, natural disasters, and equipment malfunctions such as a plane being grounded.
Carriers are very good at what they do, but sometimes human error also enters into the equation. Packages can get lost or put into the wrong delivery route.
Along with guarantees for shipping time, third-party logistics companies will often have a guarantee for order fulfillment. For example, at ShipBuddies orders received by 3:00 p.m. local time will be packed and ready to ship by the end of that business day.
How Much Does 2-Day Shipping Cost?
Several factors will impact the costs of 2-day shipping. There is not a flat-rate for 2-day shipping in every situation. It will be impacted by:
- Shipping point of origin
- Carrier used
- Air vs ground shipping
- DIM weight
- Date and time of shipping
- Contents being shipped
Many customers expect to receive orders quickly these days, and if you are not careful 2-day shipping can greatly eat into your margins. If you are a high volume shipper, shipping carriers will offer bulk discounts. If you are not a high enough volume shipper to qualify for those discounts, you can partner with a third-party logistics company and take advantage of the discounts they qualify for.
Is There Such a Thing as the Amazon Prime Effect?
The Amazon Prime Effect, or just the Amazon Effect, is real and it does have implications for online merchants, big and small. The Amazon Prime Effect or Amazon Effect refers to Amazon’s 2-day shipping offered on almost everything sold on their marketplace. Because Amazon is so popular, that 2-day shipping expectation has filtered down to all online transactions.
Consumers want their deliveries fast. Patience, when it comes to delivery times, is long gone.
The Amazon Effect has put pressure on companies to offer 2-day shipping, whether free or for a nominal fee, in order to stay competitive.
Should I Offer Free 2-Day Shipping?
Two-day shipping has become standard, almost required in order for eCommerce merchants to remain competitive in their industries. Free shipping can help convert more shoppers into buyers, but it is not practical for every business.
For example, if you sell products that are fairly inexpensive, offering free 2-day shipping might cut into your margins far too much to keep you profitable, and especially if you use 2-day air shipping.
Sellers in that situation can try offering free 2-day shipping but only for minimum orders over a certain dollar threshold to keep margins healthy.