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Everyone’s talking about expedited shipping these days—and it’s easy to see why! Who wouldn’t want to receive their orders in record time? That being said, this can be difficult for smaller eCommerce companies to pull off due to high costs that can quickly eat into profits. If you’re having trouble weighing the costs and benefits of expedited shipping, we here at BoxGenie have the ultimate guide to help you out! 

What Is Expedited Shipping?

As you may know, expedited shipping refers to a type of shipping that gets high priority in order to deliver it very quickly. This includes a variety of different shipping options, including same-day, next-day, and two-day shipping. In expedited shipping, you’re guaranteed to receive your package faster than usual, and shipping companies essentially use any means necessary to do this. In many cases, your package is driven by a trucking company that has two drivers so that they can drive straight through without wasting any time. 

Sure, this method sounds great—but it comes at a cost. After all, the shipping company is doing a lot and using many resources to guarantee your delivery, so they will be charging a premium price for this above-and-beyond type of service. Depending on the courier service, packaging dimensions, packaging weight, and timeframe chosen, you can expect to pay a lot more for expedited shipping—even as much as $100! 

Why Use Expedited Shipping?

Now that you know a bit about this service and the associated costs, you’re probably wondering why you should even use expedited shipping in the first place. After all, why not save money and just offer standard shipping? 

Here are some reasons why it may be worth it for you to pay more for expedited shipping:

  • If you have a hard deadline, it may be worth it to pay more for expedited shipping. For example, say a customer is ordering a dress for a big event that’s coming up quickly. They don’t have time to wait for standard shipping, so they opt to go with expedited shipping, so they get their items in time. 

  • If you are shipping perishable items, then you should probably pay for expedited shipping to ensure that your items don’t spoil during the shipping process. For example, if you’re shipping frozen goods from a meal delivery service or baked goods through a bakery, the quicker you get these items, the better they’ll taste! 

  • If you want to save on storage costs by getting your items to their destinations as quickly as possible, then you may want to shell out a bit more for expedited shipping. This is especially true if you’re paying a premium for inventory storage—the smaller premium for expedited shipping may make it worthwhile in the end. 

  • If you want to ensure that your items go through less wear and tear during the shipping process, expedited shipping is definitely a better option compared to standard shipping. This is because there’s very little packaging handling throughout the expedited shipping process since it essentially goes straight from one place to another. 

    During standard shipping, your package likely goes through several different transportation methods and shipping centers—all increasing the likelihood that it gets damaged in the process. So if you have expensive or fragile items that you want to protect during the shipping process, expedited shipping may be the better option.
  • Finally, if you want to win over and retain your customers, then paying extra for expedited shipping may be worth it. These days, customers expect fast shipping, with 60% of online shoppers basing their shopping choices on the convenience of delivery options offered by different sellers. 

    So if you don’t offer expedited shipping, this can easily turn off customers who may love your products but not your shipping options. Instead, they choose to go with a competitor who can offer fast and free shipping times. Plus, if you want to keep your existing customers, efficient and reliable shipping is a great way to do this as customers with negative shipping experiences are less likely to buy from you again in the future. 

How to Use Expedited Shipping?

While it’s easy to simplify the concept of expedited shipping, there’s actually more to it than meets the eye. There are tons of different options and considerations to this process that you need to learn about and think about. Here are some of the different options and how to use them:

  • The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers two expedited shipping services: Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail 2-Day. These services offer both overnight and 2-day delivery services and are the fastest domestic shipping options available by USPS. These options include tracking information as well as $100 in insurance for the contents of the package. There are flat-rate shipping containers available, starting at $26.35 for very small and light shipments. 

  • FedEx offers a variety of expedited shipping services both on the ground and in the air. The rates for these largely vary depending on package origination, destination, size, and weight. FedEx’s tracking system is very reliable and provides real-time location updates so that you can easily track your package throughout its journey. Here are some of the most popular expedited shipping options offered by FedEx: FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Second Day AM, FedEx Express Same Day, FedEx Express Saver, and more. 

  • The United Parcel Service (UPS) also offers a variety of expedited shipping services both on the ground and in the air. Like FedEx, the rates for each of these different services can vary depending on where you’re sending the package from, where it’s going, how big it is, and how much it weighs. Here are some of the most popular expedited shipping options offered by UPS: UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Saver, UPS Second-Day Air AM, UPS Second-Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select, and more. 

Once you have selected your courier and shipping options, you need to utilize the dimensions and weight of your package as well as the shipping and receiving addresses in order to get a price estimate and shipping label. From there, you can either schedule a pick-up of your package or drop it off either at an office location or drop-box before the scheduled pick-up that day (usually around 5:00 PM). After that, your parcel will be on its way and will reach its destination in no time! 

Is Expedited Shipping Worth It?

We know what you’re thinking: Is all this really worth it? As you probably know, eCommerce is booming, especially in the age of COVID. This can be a very difficult area for you to set yourself apart with so much competition, especially when it comes to giants like Amazon that are known for offering free same-day and two-day shipping. Unfortunately, this is what customers have come to expect these days, so if you really want to compete, then this is definitely something you need to consider. 

That said, if you’re shipping really small orders that aren’t worth a lot of money, then you should think twice before offering free expedited shipping. After all, your shipping costs shouldn’t be more than your actual products—this is a surefire way to lose money. Instead, try offering free expedited shipping with a minimum order amount to make sure that it won’t eat into your bottom line too much. 

Other Ways to Impress Customers Through Shipping and Packaging

Thankfully, there are other ways that you can impress your customers through shipping and packaging that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Here are some different options that you can consider:

  • Using custom packaging from companies like BoxGenie to impress customers and build brand image before they even lay eyes on your actual products! BoxGenie offers a custom design tool that allows you to choose from a wide variety of boxes, colors, patterns, materials, and sizes so that you can create your perfect box. 

  • Keeping your customer informed throughout the fulfillment and shipping process. Even if you’re not able to offer next-day shipping all the time, you can still satisfy your customers by getting your orders out quickly and notifying them once the order has been processed, shipped, and finally arrives. 

  • If you’re noticing high cart abandonment rates, perhaps due to shipping costs that are added at the end, instead add the shipping cost into the initial cost of your product. Last-minute costs are often the cause of cart abandonment, so increase your conversion rates by following this strategy. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’re an expert in expedited shipping, it’s time to get to work! By choosing the best courier and shipping option for you, you’re well on your way to impressing your customers. Just don’t forget to also think about packaging and customer service to really set yourself apart from the competition. 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.ups.com/us/en/services/knowledge-center/article.page?name=expedited-shipping&kid=art175b32fe8a1
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/royerez/2019/07/22/why-faster-shipping-isnt-always-what-consumers-need/?sh=7074016115d6
  3. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-benefits-using-custom-packaging-your-products-shalu-jain/

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