Shipping may just be the most complex aspect of eCommerce fulfillment. It is a key component of the customer experience which is why it requires time and effort to plan. While you can provide a superior shopping experience, it is your shipping process that enables customers to connect with your products.
You’ll need to rely on various shipping methods or categories to fulfill customer orders. Consider some key stats that might shed some light on how important the shipping categories available is for retailers:
Fedex’s slogan at one point was “when it absolutely, positively has to be there tomorrow.” Your available shipping by category or shipping methods is a crucial metric that can help measure your eCommerce performance. Should you be offering as many shipping methods as possible or just stick to a few categories? And how could the shipping categories available affect customers at checkout?
Retailers use different shipping methods to get packages into the hands of consumers. Over time, these customers have become accustomed to some of these delivery methods and now expect to see them when shopping online. Here are some of the most common shipping categories:
Expedited shipping is an umbrella term for shipping methods like same-day, next-day, express, or any shipping method that guarantees faster fulfillment than regular methods like flat-rate or economy. Customers prefer expedited shipping when they need swift delivery.
This method guarantees that customers will receive their packages the same day they placed their order. An established eCommerce shipping company can help you offer this kind of shipping service.
Two-day shipping can be considered fast and still allows you to optimize between shipping costs and speed. It is also an option that 44% of consumers are willing to pick while shopping.
Parameters like weight, height, and size are usually factored into shipping cost calculations. But flat rate shipping overrules all that, allowing you to play a fixed rate whenever you ship using specific-size boxes from a carrier. This allows you to ship as many items as possible and pay a fixed fee, so long as all items go into the box.
Free shipping helps lower cart abandonment, increase conversions, and build loyalty. Offering this method means you’ll either have to factor shipping costs into product prices or have customers qualify for free shipping when they reach a specific spending threshold.
Might be the lowest-cost shipping category but it is usually slower and best for packages that do not require urgent delivery. Customers who want to save money may be willing to wait it out for a couple of days. According to stats, 21% of customers will wait 3 to 4 days, 10% will wait 5 to 7 days, and 2% will wait for one to two weeks.
This service is often more expensive since the products have to be shipped over large distances. The shipping rates for international shipping differ depending on the brand.
Freight is best for mass shipping and is used when large quantities of goods have to be shipped to a fulfillment center or distributor. Freight shipping comprises ground, ocean, air, and multimodal freight.
You can convert your physical stores into local fulfillment centers using the Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) platform. With BOPIS, customers can order online and then walk into the nearest local store to pick up their orders quickly without paying for shipping. That way, you won’t have to worry about contracting a carrier to get your products shipped.
If you want to learn more about how available shipping categories impact customer satisfaction and how you can address these issues, check out our latest guide on the metrics you should be tracking and how to address them.
We’ve also prepared more guides on other crucial metrics you should be leveraging in order to deliver a flawless customer experience and increase conversions. Check them out below: