It would be impossible to argue that Amazon has not completely changed customer expectations with its Prime service providing free 2-day shipping on most items. In 2018, 36% of shoppers surveyed said that shipping taking too long was their primary reason for abandoning their shopping cart.
If you want to reduce shopping cart abandonment, increase conversions, and remain competitive in the eCommerce marketplace, you cannot ignore these customer expectations.
Yet, despite the fact that 2-day shipping is becoming the norm, not the exception, many businesses are not offering it as an option to their customers. They have the misconception that they cannot compete with bigger retailers. That 2-day shipping, plus its associated logistical expenses, is too expensive or difficult to implement.
What many of these businesses do not realize is that affordable 2-day shipping is indeed within the grasp of businesses of all sizes.
What is 2-Day Shipping?
Many people do not realize that 2-day shipping does not guarantee that you will receive an order in 2 days. The timer starts when the carrier takes possession of the order. If it takes an extra day or two to prepare the order for shipment, that will add to the overall delivery time.
For example, if someone orders a custom built computer, it may take the seller a couple of days to collect the parts, assemble the machine, install appropriate software, test that the system works, and then package the order for shipment.
Why Should You Offer 2-Day Shipping?
There are plenty of benefits to offering 2-day shipping on an eCommerce website.
As already discussed above, due to the prevalence of Amazon Prime, customers expect retailers of all kinds to have fast shipping options for either free or very affordable pricing.
Patience is something that is quickly disappearing in the online marketplace when it comes to shipping.
If you cannot meet the expectations of your customers, they will look to competitors who can.
When customers receive shipments quickly, accurately, and on-time, they are more likely to purchase from you again, recommend you to people they know, and to leave positive reviews about their experience with your company and products.
Reduce Cart Abandonment
One of the primary reasons shoppers abandon their online shopping cart is because the delivery time is too slow.
Keep in mind that sometimes a shopper has chosen to purchase from you versus a competitor by a very slim margin. If your competitor is offering faster shipping options, that could sway the pendulum back into their favor.
Of course, there are also some businesses that based on the nature of their product must offer 2-day (or faster) shipping. If your business offers perishable products such as food, 7-day or 10-day shipping is just not a viable option.
Provide Options and Flexibility
Even if you are not offering free shipping, offering a variety of shipping options will result in more sales. Many shoppers will not complete the checkout process if the delivery time is too slow.
Obviously, if you can offer 2-day shipping and make it free for your customers, that is even better.
The more shipping options you can provide for your customers, the better their experience is going to be.
Strategies for Keeping the Costs of 2-Day Shipping Low
Many businesses think that offering 2-day shipping will eat into their margins too much to make it a viable option, but there are ways that you can curb and control the costs substantially.
Utilize Ground Shipping
Making use of ground shipping is the simplest way to reduce shipping costs. The less distance a package travels, the quicker it can get there and the cheaper the shipping will be.
In order to do this, you might have to only offer 2-day shipping to certain zip codes based on where your packages are shipped from.
If you are working with a 3rd-party logistics provider, most eCommerce platforms can integrate with them and only show 2-day shipping as an option to shoppers who are in designated zip codes where ground shipping can reach them within 2 days. Leveraging the technology provided by a fulfillment service in this way allows eCommerce merchants to offer 2-day shipping to those where the pricing makes sense and increase conversions, while not disabling it as an option for those who are outside of the 2-day shipping zones.
Make Use of a 3rd Party Logistics Service for Lower Rates
Above we mentioned utilizing a 3PL company and the advantages they can offer on the technology side. They often have the capability to integrate directly with your shopping cart platform to show real-time shipping options to your customers.
The other major advantage that these order fulfillment services can provide to your eCommerce business is lower shipping rates. Shipping carriers such as FedEx, USPS, UPS, and DHL will offer discounted shipping rates for large volume shippers.
Many businesses do not meet these thresholds on their own. However, an order fulfillment company can leverage the shipping volume of their entire customer base to negotiate better shipping rates and pass that savings on to their customers.
Best Solutions for Offering 2-Day Shipping
You have a few options you can look at if you want to offer customers with 2-day shipping as an option.
You can handle the entire process in-house. For some companies, this might be a solid option. For others, it is going to present challenges.
First of all, how often do you ship? Are you shipping daily? Are there some days where no orders go out? Will all of your 2-day orders go through the same carrier or will some go through different carriers based on pricing? If you are a lower volume shipper, you may have to manually schedule pickups with individual shipping carriers.
Second, unless you are a high volume shipper, you are not going to be able to lock in the lowest rates that shipping carriers offer. This added cost is going to eat into your margins on 2-day shipping orders unless you pass on the cost to your customers. That in turn could cost you sales.
Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) service is for merchants that sell on Amazon. It does give sellers the opportunity to take advantage of Amazon Prime’s guaranteed 2-day shipping.
All order fulfillment is handled by Amazon within their fulfillment centers.
While this does open up options to ship through Amazon’s massive network, the downside is that it is exclusively for sellers on the Amazon marketplace. That means additional seller fees for sellers as Amazon takes its cut out of each sale.
It also does not give you as much opportunity for eCommerce merchants to highlight their brand. Orders will be shipped in Amazon-branded boxes.
ShipBuddies provides order fulfillment services for merchants of all sizes. Utilizing ShipBuddies as a partner allows eCommerce sellers to offer their customers affordable and reliable 2-day shipping.
ShipBuddies platform seamlessly integrates with all of the most popular eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and more. This integration allows orders and inventory to be tracked in real-time.
You can click here to get a quote and learn more about services offered by ShipBuddies.