Unlocking the Benefits of Offering Expedited Shipping

Today, the shipping industry is facing significant challenges. A shortage of lumber and microprocessors has dramatically reduced access to consumer products. Still, the industry is facing shortages of shipping materials and even dock workers to keep the supply chain moving.

The recent debacle in the Suez Canal is a prime example of how a supply chain can be derailed.

Expedited shipping and air freight can ensure that goods can promptly reach both the consumer and store shelves, even amidst the supply chain problems affecting today’s shipping industry. This article will look at how expedited shipping and air freight can improve a business and suggest the best ways to approach these methods.

Finding ways to delight customers and meet their needs is critical for any ecommerce business. One strategy that can really pay dividends? Offering expedited shipping options. Providing faster delivery choices allows shoppers to get their orders quickly when needed. For online retailers embracing expedited shipping comes with some major benefits that are worth exploring.

What is Expedited Shipping?

Expedited shipping refers to faster-than-usual shipping methods that deliver orders to customers as quickly as possible, Some common types of expedited shipping include

  • Next day air – Delivery in 1 business day
  • 2nd day air – Delivery in 2 business days
  • 3-5 day service – Delivery within 3-5 business days
  • Overnight shipping – Delivery by early next day

These expedited options come at an additional cost compared to standard ground shipping. But they enable customers to receive their purchases much sooner based on their needs.

Benefits of Offering Expedited Shipping

Here are some of the key benefits ecommerce merchants can realize by offering expedited shipping:

Faster Deliveries

This is the core value proposition of expedited shipping. Express delivery options enable your customers to get their orders as quickly as next day or within 2-3 days, compared to standard shipping which may take 5-7 days or even longer. Faster deliveries lead to higher satisfaction.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Today’s consumers expect delivery speed and convenience. According to a survey, 79% of customers consider shipping costs and delivery time as important factors when shopping online. Expedited shipping caters to these needs directly, providing superior fulfilment experience.

Increased Sales

Research shows that nearly 75% of online shoppers are willing to pay extra for same-day or expedited delivery. By providing faster shipping choices, you can drive more sales by catering to customer preferences.

Improved Loyalty

Speedy, reliable shipping leaves a lasting positive impression that makes customers more likely to purchase from you again. Investing in fulfilment can increase retention and build loyalty over time.

Higher Cart Values

eCommerce data reveals that the average order value goes up by 25% or more when free expedited shipping is offered. Customers tend to add more items to carts when they can get faster delivery.

Reduced Cancellations

Slow shipping often leads to order cancellations and returns. Expedited options ensure customers get their orders quickly, reducing the likelihood of cancellations.

Decreased Customer Effort

Customers appreciate when merchants make it easy to get what they purchased delivered fast. The easier you make it, the more they’ll prefer you over competitors.

Protection for Valuable Items

For high-value or fragile items, expedited shipping minimizes the risk and handling by delivering them faster and more safely.

Flexibility for Customers

Different shoppers have different delivery needs. Giving them expedited shipping options provides flexibility to choose based on their circumstances.

Edge Over Competition

As customer demands grow, offering expedited shipping can set you apart. Competitors who only give standard delivery may lose out on sales.

Qualify for Buyer Programs

Large buyers often mandate expedited shipping capabilities from sellers. It opens doors to corporate purchasing programs.

As we can see, faster delivery capabilities create tangible benefits throughout the customer lifecycle – from initial purchase to repeat sales. The advantages impact top and bottom lines.

What to Consider When Offering Expedited Shipping

While the benefits are compelling, offering expedited shipping requires careful planning and execution:

Costs – Expedited shipping has higher logistics costs due to faster handling and premium transportation. The costs need to be weighed against customer willingness to pay.

Carrier relationships – Work with carriers that can support time-definite delivery options nationally or globally as required.

Eligible products – Assess which products can feasibly be shipped using expedited methods based on size, weight, fragility etc.

Warehouse operations – Evaluate if warehouse workflows, pick-pack processes can support faster order processing and cut-off times.

Customer expectations – Clearly communicate expected delivery timelines and manage expectations around expedited shipping.

Free shipping – Consider promotional free shipping offers on expedited methods to incentivize trial and purchases.

Automation – Automate and streamline processes to efficiently handle expedited shipping orders.

Pricing – Research optimal pricing for expedited rates using customer value perception and willingness to pay.

Packaging – Use durable, secure packaging designed to protect items during expedited transit.

Insurance – Purchase additional insurance to cover losses in transit.

Returns – Plan for operational processes and costs related to managing expedited shipping returns.

Profitability – Regularly evaluate the ROI of investing in expedited shipping services.

The best approach is to start small, validate the offering with customers, and expand at a sustainable pace. With attention to operations and profitability, expedited shipping can take your ecommerce business to the next level.

Best Practices for Offering Expedited Shipping

To maximize the results, here are some proven best practices to follow:

  • Choose the right carriers based on delivery network, reliability, tracking capabilities.

  • Offer a range of options – same day, next day, 2nd day to provide flexibility.

  • Highlight expedited options prominently on product pages, cart and checkout.

  • Automate rate quoting based on cart value, product type, and location.

  • Integrate order management so expedited orders flow seamlessly.

  • Leverage technology like purchase order automation to accelerate processing.

  • Use analytics to gain visibility into costs, conversion rates, and operational impact.

  • Train customer service to set right expectations around expedited delivery times and exceptions.

  • Refine processes continuously to ship expedited orders faster without errors.

  • Gather customer feedback to improve the end-to-end expedited shipping experience.

The time and effort required to launch and scale an expedited shipping program pays huge dividends through delighted customers, repeat purchases, and sustained growth.

Expedited Shipping Options to Consider

To make expedited shipping easy for customers, offer choices like:

  • Next day air – Delivery by next day

  • Second day – Delivery in 2 business days

  • 3-5 day – Delivery within 3-5 business days

  • Overnight – Delivery by early next morning

  • Same day – Get it on the same day

Also think about zone-based and time-based options:

  • Early AM – 8 AM delivery

  • Morning – 10:30 AM delivery

  • Afternoon – 3 PM delivery

  • Evening – 6 PM delivery

  • Sunday/weekend – Delivery on Sundays and Saturdays

You can even look at white glove delivery that brings items right into the customer’s home or business for installation and setup.

Evaluate demand and operational feasibility when selecting the right expedited shipping services to offer. You can always test and refine over time.

Key Takeaways

The major benefits of offering expedited shipping include:

  • Faster delivery

  • Improved customer experience

  • Higher order values and sales conversion

  • Increased customer lifetime value

  • Competitive differentiation

However, achieving success requires focusing on carrier relationships, operational readiness, packaging, cost management, and profitability.

With the massive growth in ecommerce, fulfilling demand quickly is no longer a nice-to-have. Expedited shipping capabilities are becoming a must-have to stay competitive. By leveraging it as a strategic capability, rather than just a cost center, you can create enduring value for customers and your business.

benefits of offering expedited shipping

The Benefits of Shipping by Air

Nothing can beat air freight for speed and reliability. This way product can be delivered virtually anywhere in a brief amount of time.

Plus, air shipments tend to be highly secure and offer transparent tracking options so that you have the most reliable, up-to-date information available for your shipment.

The Benefits of Expedited Shipping

Expedited shipping can keep the supply chain moving quickly and ensure that products reach their destination as soon as possible. This solution is particularly beneficial today since problems in the supply chain are creating empty shelves in the retail industry. This method of shipping may not solve the shortage of goods, but it can at least keep shelves stocked and the economy moving.

Expedited Shipping vs Other Services

Why should your business offer expedited shipping?

Offering expedited shipping allows your business to retain customers who expect Amazon-level fulfillment times. By meeting expectations for delivery times, you will turn one-time purchases into long-term repeat business. Remember that 48% of eCommerce purchases come from repeat customers.

Should your ecommerce business offer expedited shipping?

Despite the costs, expedited shipping can offer eCommerce businesses several benefits, including: In 2021, according to studies conducted by Baymard, 19% of customers abandoned their cart due to slow delivery times. Offering expedited shipping allows your business to retain customers who expect Amazon-level fulfillment times.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of expedited shipping?

Despite its popularity, expedited shipping has its advantages and drawbacks. Let’s explore them. Enhanced customer satisfaction: Customers appreciate the convenience and promptness of expedited delivery, which can boost satisfaction and loyalty.

What is expedited shipping?

Expedited shipping typically ranges from next-day delivery to a few days. It is significantly faster than standard shipping, which may take a week or more. Here’s a quick breakdown of some popular expedited shipping options: Overnight shipping: Delivers packages by the next business day. Two-day shipping: Ensures delivery within two business days.

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