Standard Shipping: What It is and How to Offer It

Published on November 8, 2023
Written by
Filed under Carrier Rates
Read time 8 Minutes

As a business owner, you have to provide your customers with reliable and cost-effective shipping options. This can be the difference in whether or not they choose to shop with you. As we found in our guide Protect Your Business’s Growth Strategy, consumers are increasingly cost-conscious. Shipping cost is the most important delivery factor by a wide margin. Providing a free or cost-effective shipping option is a must-have. In this blog, we will explore the ins and outs of standard shipping and provide you with tips on how to offer it effectively. Whether you are just starting your online business or looking to tighten your shipping strategies, this guide will help you understand what standard shipping is and how to use it to your advantage. We’ll also go over how ShipStation’s carrier services, shipping tools, and label discounts can help you provide everything from standard shipping to overnight delivery even more simple and satisfying for you and your customers. 

What is Standard Shipping?

Standard shipping is the baseline, economy shipping option you provide to your shoppers. This is either a free delivery option or is your most cost-effective one. Domestically, this will be a ground shipping service. Think of services like USPS First Class Mail®, Priority Mail, Media Mail, UPS® Ground, or FedEx® Ground. Generally, these services take anywhere from 1–7 days to arrive at the final destination. 

How Long Does Standard Shipping Take to Deliver? 

With domestic US couriers, standard shipping typically arrives in 3–7 business days. However, your customers may be expecting it sooner. A recent survey conducted by ShipStation found that customers expect orders placed using standard shipping to arrive in 3–4 days. Luckily, many of the ground services commonly used for standard shipping delivery within this timeframe. 

Should I Charge for Standard Shipping? 

The 3–4 days consumers are willing to wait for their parcel to arrive is when consumers expect to not pay for delivery. In fact, 81% of consumers overwhelmingly think even returns should be offered for free. Shoppers are twice as likely to be influenced by delivery cost as by delivery speed. Even though consumers may shop around until they find a retailer that doesn’t charge for shipping, express, 2-day shipping is not as popular as it once was. And best of all, many of the services you rely on to send orders with standard delivery arrive well within customers’ preferred delivery timeframe. Whether or not merchants do charge for standard shipping, such as offering a low, flat fee, there are ways to make shipping more affordable for your business. Some merchants protect their profit margins while offering free shipping by padding their item price with some of the shipping costs. 

Carriers and Services To Use For Standard Shipping 

USPS Standard Shipping Options

Many of USPS’s shipping services are good candidates for standard shipping services. Apart from Priority Mail Express®, their shipping services typically fall into standard shipping options. With a large network of warehouses, distribution centers, and a fleet of vehicles and workers, USPS is to deliver to a wide range of customers at an affordable price. These services are their most common for standard shipping. 

USPS First Class Mail® is a great option for parcels weighing up to 16 ounces. With ShipStation you get access to Commercial pricing that raises the weight from 13 ounces over retail rates. Delivery typically takes 1–5 days for First Class Mail®l. 

USPS Priority Mail® works for parcels weighing up to 70 lbs. With ShipStation you can save up to 89% off USPS retail rates and 15% off Priority Mail® commercial rates. Delivery usually takes 1–3 days. 

USPS Media Mail® provides affordable shipping rates for approved media weighing up to 70 lbs. The approved contents includes any bound materials greater than 8 pages, books, DVDs, CDs, film, cassettes, or vinyl recordings can be included. However, certain content is excluded. We have more information on Media Mail® rates, approved content, and delivery time frames. 

USPS Parcel Select® is an economical option for delivering medium-sized or larger shipments. It is a little slower than Priority Mail with a 2–5 delivery time frame usually. However, it does also have a maximum weight limit of 70 lbs. 

Standard Shipping With UPS

UPS® Ground gives you cost-effective, day definite delivery within one to five business days, with 90% of UPS® Ground packages being delivered in three days or less.Since customers prefer a parcel to arrive within 3–4 days, UPS® Ground is a great option, since it can arrive as soon as the next business day. . When you ship UPS on ShipStation, you have access to deep discounts of up to 78% off on UPS® Ground. In order to access these UPS discounts on ShipStation, you must use ShipStation Carrier Services and use UPS on ShipStation. When generating labels, enter the weights, dimensions, and correct shipping addresses. These criteria help produce accurate rates. 

Standard Shipping With FedEx

FedEx® Ground is FedEx’s best option for a standard shipping service. You can ship parcels weighing up to 150 lbs with FedEx. While FedEx doesn’t currently offer discounts through ShipStation, you are able to connect your own FedEx account and access all of your supported services and shipping rates. 

How ShipStation Helps With Standard Shipping

ShipStation Carrier Services

ShipStation Carrier Services can help merchants save a lot of money on their standard and express shipping costs. Drawing from a single postage balance, you can access discounts on postage for UPS, USPS, DHL Express, GlobalPost, and Seiko LTL. Many of these services and discounts are available upon signing up for ShipStation. 

Automated Shipping and Service Mapping

When your customer places an order you want to make sure that you use the shipping option they select. Once that order comes into ShipStation, you can automatically map the correct shipping service to the order using customizable service mapping and automation rules. 

Written by

James Messer

James Messer is a copywriter specializing in shipping, logistics, and ecommerce.

Want to learn more about ShipStation?