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Standard Shipping Time Vs Alternatives: Shipping Process 101

What is the standard shipping time and which shipping service is the right one for your eCommerce business? Find out in this article!

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Many carrier service providers offer a variety of shipping options which can make it tough for online retailers to decide which option is best for themselves and their customers.

 

However, not all shipping methods are created equal. And depending on what you’re selling and who your customers are, a standard shipping time might not work for your business and customer base.

 

We’ve compiled a list of the most important things to take into consideration when deciding on your shipping and delivery options. By following these tips, you’ll be able to assess your business needs, understand which shipping services work best for your business and what other add-ons you can use to meet (and even exceed) your customer’s expectations.

 

Keep reading this article below to see which shipping method is best for your eCommerce business.

What is standard shipping?

First things first, what is standard shipping?

 

Although the term “standard shipping” is quite commonly used, it might also go by other names, including basic shipping, economy shipping, regular shipping, or ground shipping. These phrases vary based on the carrier company and the names they’ve chosen for their shipping services.

 

It is one of the most common types of shipping services used for online orders. Packages typically get delivered within 3-5 business days, although delivery times may vary depending on the carrier and the destination.

 

Why is it so popular? Standard shipping is generally less expensive than other shipping options, making it a no-brainer choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

 

However, it doesn’t normally include overnight shipping services, next-day, or same-day delivery, so it might be the most affordable option but it comes with its own disadvantages.

What influences the shipping dates and costs?

The truth is that there are several factors that come into play when it comes to shipping speed and costs. These factors include distance, processing time cutoffs, package dimensions, and carrier service provider, and they all contribute to the duration and costs for a package to go from the warehouse or sender’s location to the final destination— the recipient’s address.

 

It’s important to note that some of these variables are simply out of your control, as a merchant. Delivery exceptions can happen, but what matters the most is to track all your shipments in one place for 360-degree visibility and to be upfront with your customers throughout their journey.

How long does standard shipping take?

When it comes to standard shipping, delivery times can vary depending on the carrier service provider. In most cases, standard shipping will take 1-5 business days. However, some carrier companies may offer standard shipping with a delivery time of 2-3 business days.

 

To provide an average time for standard shipping services, we’ll take a closer look at three of the most trusted carrier companies, more specifically UPS, FedEx, and USPS, and their shipping services.

UPS standard shipping

The UPS Ground service delivers packages within 1-5 days within all 50 U.S. states, from Monday to Friday, and no weekend deliveries. This service also offers parcel tracking and up to $100 insurance. The downside of this service is that it comes with a weight limit of 150 lbs.(68 kg), which can be disadvantageous for certain businesses (e.g., selling furniture or electronics).

FedEx standard shipping

FedEx Ground shipping also takes 1-5 business days (Monday to Friday) for package delivery for most U.S. states, except for some states such as Hawaii and Alaska, where it normally takes 3-7 days. Moreover, FedEx International Ground (standard international shipping) is available between the U.S. and Canada, and within Canada.

 

FedEx Ground shipping also comes with some package dimension limitations, more specifically you can ship packages up to 150 lbs. (68 kg), that have a maximum of 108″ in length, and 165″ in length.

USPS standard shipping

Last but not least, United States Postal Service (or USPS) comes with USPS Retail Ground for business shipping and the delivery time takes 2-8 business days, starting from $7.50, depending on the destination, dimensions, etc.

 

This service applies additional charges for oversized packages, for instance, if an item measures over 108 inches but not more than 130 inches in combined length and girth, or exceeds the 70 lbs. (about 30 kg) weight limit.

Making the shipping experience great for customers

Shipping plays an important role in the customer experience and making improvements in this area can be a major advantage for businesses. In fact, most customers link the delivery experience directly to the brand, so shipping can make or break your customer relationships.

 

Below we’ll discuss 3 essential ways to boost your customer experience efforts in terms of shipping and delivery:

Estimated delivery dates

Providing estimated shipping times is essential in order to improve the customer experience.

 

Why is that? As a matter of fact, customers appreciate knowing when to expect their orders. To do so, make sure you display the delivery date instead of the shipping speed. Rather than showing a 3-4 day delivery window, provide the estimated arrival date instead (e.g., August 24-28, as seen below).

This way, brands can build trust and confidence with their customers. Customers can effectively plan their shopping ahead, especially when they’re looking for gifts online, and businesses can better meet staffing and transportation needs, leading to higher operational efficiency.

 

In the end, a customer-centric makes it easy for customers, as no math is required and no unnecessary barriers are in the way of conversion!

In-store and curbside pickup

Another way to improve the shipping experience for customers is to offer more delivery options. This gives customers more flexibility and control over when and how they receive their orders.

 

In this regard, you can allow customers to opt for in-store or curbside pickup. This can help you cut down transportation costs and make it more affordable for customers, especially since 93% of online buyers are encouraged to buy more products if free shipping options are available, whereas 61% of consumers are “somewhat likely” to cancel their purchase if free shipping is not offered.

Moreover, enabling them to return items directly to your store can make a great incentive for them to buy online in the first place.

 

How? It’s simple: by letting them know they can easily return to a physical location, they’ll be more confident making a purchase, ultimately driving more foot traffic to your shop.

Scheduled delivery time

If you’re not offering in-store or curbside pickup due to a lack of physical locations (or other reasons), scheduled delivery dates are a great way to give customers more control over when they receive their orders.

 

If your carrier allows it, you can let customers schedule deliveries for a specific day and time. Scheduling deliveries also allows you to better manage your inventory and ensure that you have enough staff on hand to fulfill all of the orders.

 

To schedule a delivery, customers have to enter the date and time that they would like the order to be delivered. The carrier will then make sure that the order is delivered on the specified day and time.

 

Enabling a customer to pick a scheduled delivery date that works for them is a great way to provide an extra level of convenience for your customers and build trust-based relationships long-term.

The Shipping Policy Template you didn't know you needed!

The Shipping Policy Template you didn't know you needed!

The Shipping Policy Template you didn't know you needed!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we’ll answer some of your most burning shipping-related questions:

To determine the average shipping cost we’ve looked at the three most popular carrier service providers also discussed above (UPS, USPS, FedEx). In this regard, to ship a 10″ length, 10″ width, 10″ height, and 10 lbs. package from New York, NY to Philadephia, PA it costs $46.19 with UPS Ground shipping, $13.28 with FedEx Ground shipping, and $13.90 with USPS Retail Ground shipping. Keep in mind that, as a business, you might benefit from discounted shipping rates, depending on your carrier.

Standard ground shipping generally utilizes road or rail, unlike express also relies on air freight shipping, and it is the most cost-effective transportation method for shipping packages.

Besides “standard” ground shipping services, there are also other “express” ones, which usually involve shipping by air. For instance, there are services such as Priority Mail Express (USPS Priority Mail service), FedEx Express, and UPS Next Day Air, which ship packages overnight or within 1-3 business days.

Standard shipping services often include order tracking information, so that buyers can keep an eye on their order during the shipping process. However, we recommend creating your own branded tracking pages using tools like WeSupply to improve the post-purchase customer experience and offer personalized deals to further cross-sell and upsell your products.

Although most estimated delivery dates are perfectly accurate, there are a number of factors that can impact their accuracy due to weather, traffic, or other factors beyond the retailer’s or carrier’s control.

Final thoughts on shipping as part of the post-purchase experience

As online shopping undoubtedly continues to grow, the post-purchase process (including logistics) has become an increasingly important part of the customer experience.

 

In fact, to compete in today’s crowded market, retail businesses need to offer fast and reliable shipping services.

Although speed and reliability do matter, these are not the only factors that customers consider when choosing a retailer. Communication is also key, especially during the post-purchase stage.

 

Customers want to be kept updated on the status of their orders and they expect retailers to be responsive to any questions or concerns. This means offering estimated delivery dates, and consistent updates on order status and delivery progress, all while being responsive to order-related inquiries.

 

By taking advantage of shipping as a major selling point and ensuring that customers have a positive experience from start to finish, your business can stay ahead of your competition.

 

See how WeSupply can help you make the most of estimated delivery dates and order tracking!

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