How & Why You Should Offer 2-Day Shipping to your Customers
Shoppers want their orders ASAP. And you can blame Amazon for setting that expectation. Giants like Amazon and Walmart have made 2-day shipping the norm for customers. And with same-day delivery rearing its head in 2022, the expectation to offer fast delivery speeds has customers feeling more impatient than ever.
As an ecommerce retailer, you risk losing potential customers if you can’t guarantee offer fast delivery. 26% of online shoppers abandon carts due to slow shipping speeds, and 53% consider delivery time essential when evaluating orders.
Customers expect expedited shipping but still also want free deliveries. Is it possible for your small businesses to compete with the giants, considering you have a smaller order volume and lack of fulfillment infrastructure?
Well, it’s not impossible. This guide will show you the most important things you need to know about two-day shipping and how to offer it to your customers.
What is 2-day shipping?
Two-day shipping is the process of shipping online orders to customers within two days of making the purchase. With online shoppers becoming less patient, two-day delivery is now an essential part of any winning ecommerce strategy.
How 2-day shipping works
Depending on your brand’s definition, two-day delivery can be two business days or two full days. And the time for delivery starts from either the order cutoff time or the checkout time.
For example, Walmart uses two business days and an order cutoff time model. So, if a customer places an order after the cutoff time on Sunday, they can expect to receive their order on or before Wednesday because Saturday and Sunday aren’t business days.
Some companies start counting the days once the order is packed, not minding whether it’s a business day. Whichever model you choose, deliveries eligible for two-day shipping are typically handled between two shipping methods: air shipping and ground shipping.
Air shipping uses an airplane to move packages from a fulfillment center to the customer’s door step. Air shipping is mainly used for international shipping. Unsurprisingly, air shipping costs can be high, making it nearly impossible to offer free two-day shipping to customers.
Ground shipping uses land-based vehicles like vans or trucks to move orders to the customer’s doorstep from the fulfillment center. If you fulfill orders in-house, you may use your delivery vehicles. Or if you work with a 3PL, they can fulfill orders for you while working with big carriers like UPS or FedEx.
If you don’t have fulfillment centers spread across the country, offering 2-day delivery via ground shipping can be next to impossible.
How 2-day shipping grows your ecommerce businesses
There are over 2 million ecommerce merchants operating in 2022. Ecommerce businesses have become competitive and customer acquisition costs continue to rise.
You’ll need to stay on top of your fulfillment game to thrive. Here are a few ways two-day shipping can grow your ecommerce business.
Customers want fast deliveries
Online customers view three days as an acceptable waiting time for an order. Once your shipping time exceeds three days, customers will likely leave you for businesses that offer faster delivery speeds.
But, you’ll have a better chance of improving customer retention and growing your business if you offer two-day shipping.
Improve conversion rates and make more sales
Your ads grab more attention if you include expedited shipping. You can add the shipping speeds to your ad copy, emails, paid ads, and social media posts. Get ready for higher conversion rates and more sales when you do this.
Keep up with Amazon
2-day shipping is one of Amazon’s best selling points. Because of this, many shoppers now view free two-day shipping as the standard for every business.
Unless you’re selling a one-of-a-kind product, you’re likely to lose your customers to Amazon and other ecommerce giants if you can’t match their fast shipping speeds.
Improved customer retention rates
Customers that get their orders delivered fast are more likely to make a repeat purchase. 2-day shipping can be expensive for brands, so you can offer an Amazon Prime-like membership to offset the costs.
Should I offer 2-day shipping for my ecommerce business?
Yes, you should offer two-day shipping. It’s the easiest way to improve conversion rates and grow your business.
If the cost of 2-day shipping is too high for your business, you can offer it alongside slower delivery options and let customers decide what they want. Another strategy is to make it available to specific customer a la Amazon Prime.
How to reduce 2-day shipping costs
The costs associated with two-day shipping quickly ramp up. If you’re not careful, you costs will cut deep into your bottom line.
And you can’t transfer the costs to customers. As mentioned earlier, customers want their delivery free and fast. Here are some tips to help you reduce costs associated with 2-day shipping.
Ground shipping is your best friend
Ground shipping is a cost-effective way to keep shipping costs low while delivering orders quickly. However, ground shipping only works if you have fulfillment centers distributed throughout the country. Since most customers are likely to come from big cities, fulfillment centers should be located in urban areas.
If you can’t manage a wide network of fulfillment centers, you can limit fast shipping options to customers within a specified zip code.
Offer 2-day shipping to customers as part of a paid membership plan
Amazon has a huge fulfillment network, but only Amazon Prime members enjoy get two-day shipping. You can also offer the same for your business. When you offer 2-day shipping to customers as part of a membership plan, the subscription cost help offset the shipping costs.
Leverage distributed fulfillment centers
Operating from just one fulfillment center limits your two-day shipping capabilities. If you can’t manage more than one fulfillment center, you should consider working with a 3PL.
FAQs about 2-day shipping
Here are some common Q&As about 2-day shipping.
Is 2-day shipping really two days?
Two-day shipping doesn’t always mean the customer receives the package within 48 hours of placing the order. The two days start counting once the item is shipped from the fulfillment center. And the two days typically mean two business days.
For example, fulfillment center workers need to pick, pack, and label an order before it’s ready for shipping. So, if a customer places the order late at night, it won’t be possible to ship the order on that day.
If the seller drops off the package at the carrier, two-day shipping means two days from when the seller drops off the package. In some cases, two-day shipping suggests the seller will get the order to the mail within two days. If you’re ever in doubt, you should ask your seller or service provider to explain their interpretation of two-day shipping.
Is 2-day shipping guaranteed?
Two-day shipping depends on many factors, including the shipping carrier, days of operation, cutoff time, and additional factors. Many online sellers only use two days as a delivery estimate. However, some sellers are bold enough to provide a money-back guarantee if your order does not arrive within two days.
Even in cases where the seller provides a money-back guarantee, they still leave room for mishaps such as missing or stolen packages or lousy weather. As an online seller, you shouldn’t hastily provide guarantees around two-day shipping. However, you should try to uphold your promises as much as you can.
How much is 2-day shipping?
Many factors can affect the cost of two-day shipping:
- Carrier and shipping service
- Package dimensions
- Shipping date and time (shipping costs tend to rise during the holiday season)
- Point of origin
- Shipping destination
- Shipment volume
All these factors make it difficult to put a price on two-day shipping.
How to offer 2-day shipping
Most ecommerce don’t have the fulfillment infrastructure to handle order fulfillment for expedited shipping. So, it makes more sense to outsource your fulfillment services to a 3PL. Below are a few outsourcing options you can consider
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Fulfillment By Amazon is available to specific Amazon sellers. To become FBA-eligible, you have to meet some preset criteria. Once you meet the requirements, your customers can expect guaranteed two-day shipping and could even upgrade to one-day shipping for a small fee.
The downside to FBA is that it’s only available for orders placed on the Amazon marketplace.
Furthermore, you’ll have to pay seller fees further reducing your profits. You have little control over the customer experience, and shoppers are more likely to remember they bought the item from Amazon than remembering they purchased from you. It’s not a great option if you wish to boost brand awareness.
Work with a 3PL like ShippingTree
If you want an easy way to offer 2-day shipping, consider working with ShippingTree.
If you’re ready to scale, you might be considering partnering with a 3PL partner. But why choose ShippingTree?
Our fulfillment teams operate at the intersection of tech enablement of traditional expertise. When you work with ShippingTree, we help you streamline operational logistics and reach Amazon-level delivery speeds.
Because freight companies and Amazon FBA can only help you out so much. Our all-in-one fulfillment offering helps you manage the entirety of your supply chain and logistics operations.
Reduced shipping costs
You can’t provide expedited shipping consistently at scale without either charging customers more or reducing your shipping costs. With ShippingTree, you don’t have to make the tough call – you can make the right one instead.
The best way to remain competitive is to offer 2-day delivery by outsourcing your fulfillment needs to a 3PL. If you can partner with the right 3PL, you’ll be able to offer two-day shipping and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
To learn how ShippingTree offers 2-day delivery for your ecommerce business, book a call with our experts.