Ecommerce has, as we all know, changed how we think about shopping. And the way we’ve changed shopping has changed the world. In some ways, our online buying habits changed the world for the better. For starters, carriers consolidating parcels for delivery greatly offsets the environmental impact of individual consumers going around to different stores to buy the same products they now purchase online. Ironically, as we move towards buying more items online, and the amount of expedited shipping options grows (same-day, next-day shipping, and 2-day shipping), this environmental goodwill is undone.
With consumers making more and more frequent purchases and companies tightening their grip around pick time and shipping orders out, our orders are less likely to be consolidated. A customer’s order for a 12-pack of tissue paper may make a separate delivery than the rubber horse mask they ordered 2 hours later.
This is pertinent in more ways than environmental impact. It’s also important because it helps showcase how expensive expedited delivery can be. In order to compete with “the big dogs” that offer quick turnarounds on delivery, you need to have a plan in place—it also needs to be economical.
Same-Day Shipping VS Same-Day Delivery
Unless it’s an in-town delivery, like pizza, it’s not likely that same-day delivery will be an option for you—and it’s implausible to offer for free (though customers would love you).
However, you can offer same-day shipping for orders placed by a certain time. Same-day shipping simply means a customer’s order will leave the warehouse the same day it is ordered. With shipping softwares like ShipStation, you can stay on top of your orders as they come in and get them out the door in no time.
ShipStation Features That Help Expedite Same-Day Shipping
A significant time-saver is batch shipping. Printing multiple labels at once cuts your processing time down a lot. Instead of opening each and every order to print a label, combine your picked orders into a single batch and print together. This is made even quicker by having automation rules in place to assign shipping services and package types.
Batching saves time on more than just printing labels, too. Batching orders together also gives you a way to consolidate and pick items at the same time. Similar to how Ecommerce can reduce fuel consumption by consolidating deliveries into a single trip, consolidating orders into a single picker’s pick lists cuts down on tedium and trips around a warehouse.
New Order Alerts
Mobile Shipping App
Being able to ship whenever and wherever greatly increases your ability to ship out orders more quickly. Similar to receiving new order alerts on a mobile device, you want to be able to create the label as soon as you get the notification. Furthermore, cloud printing apps like ShipStation Connect let you generate the label from your mobile device and print to any printer that uses ShipStation. So you could create a label in a restaurant in Beijing and print it out to a warehouse in Chicago and your customer can receive their shipment notification immediately.
For more information on the benefits of a shipping software like ShipStation, download our ebook on “Choosing the Best Shipping Software”
Next-day delivery is possible to offer, but you have to offer same-day shipping to make it effective. In order to make delivery quicker, the best first step is to make sure that you get your products out the door as quickly as possible. Offering this option for free is unlikely to be profitable, though.
Which services can I use?
FedEx Standard Overnight®/UPS Next Day Air Saver®: This is the most economical of the two companies’ next-day services. Will arrive at some point on the next shipping day.
FedEx Priority Overnight®/UPS Next Day Air®: These two services are the middle-tier next-day option. They have a greater delivery guarantee time.
FedEx First Overnight®/UPS Next Day Air® Early: The top tier next-day services. These will arrive before noon and come with a pretty hefty price tag.
2-Day delivery is far more feasible to offer. In some cases, USPS Priority Mail ships a parcel in 2 days. The only problem with using an affordable shipping option like Priority Mail is that they don’t guarantee delivery. These are just estimates for how long it will take. If Priority Mail ends up taking 4 days to deliver for a parcel that a customer selected 2-day shipping on, there’s no refund for late delivery. Priority Mail Express, though, generally takes one or two days to make final delivery. If you need to guarantee delivery in two days, though, it is advisable to use one of FedEx or UPS’s guaranteed two-day services.
Which services can I use?
FedEx 2Day®/UPS 2nd Day Air®: These two services will take two shipping days to reach the final delivery. There is no guarantee beyond that.
FedEx 2Day® AM/UPS 2nd Day Air AM®: These two services will guarantee delivery before noon on the second shipping day.
USPS Priority Mail: (Some cases as it is typically a 2-3 day delivery)*
USPS Priority Mail Express: (1-2 days)*
*USPS doesn’t offer a delivery guarantee in the way that FedEx and UPS do, so you aren’t eligible to the same compensation if the delivery falls outside of these windows
To find out more ways to save big when shipping expedited parcels, as well as other areas of your business, download and read our free Cheapest Way To Ship eBook below.