Factors to consider when choosing the best package delivery service for ecommerce shipping
Consider the delivery window of the order and expected delivery times
Ecommerce brands need to think about the expected delivery window for their orders. When it comes to online shopping, most buyers are happy to wait a bit to save money on shipping fees. 67% of ecommerce shoppers stated that cheaper shipping was more important than fast shipping. For the majority of online sales, standard retail mail is the best option that will allow an order to reach the customer within 2-8 business days.
However, there are always special circumstances, and some customers need your products quickly. This is where overnight and express delivery services come into play. Because express shipping rates cost more, rush delivery should be considered an optional service that customers can choose to pay for themselves.
Be mindful of the customer’s location
Depending on where your customers are and how far away they are from your fulfillment centers, location will be another big factor when choosing which package delivery service is best for each order.
If a customer is ordering from another country (or continent), a carrier that offers air shipping services is your best bet. Although you may need to charge the customer a bit more to offset the increase from international shipping fees, air delivery services will ensure that the parcel gets to its final destination.
If an ecommerce order is destined for an address within the United States, domestic ground shipping services may be your best bet, as they allow the customer to save on shipping costs in exchange for waiting a few extra days for the item to arrive.
The chosen carrier must also be able to deliver the order to the customer’s ZIP code. Although this may sound obvious, some online customers order from remote locations. The USPS® states that it delivers to 98% of all ZIP codes within the United States, but double-checking could avoid serious headaches.
Consider the cost of shipping fees
When considering the appropriate cost of shipping for an item, the price or value of the items being shipped will be a big determining factor when choosing a delivery service. If the total for an ecommerce order is about $100, $10 in shipping fees might make more sense to a customer. However, if someone is only ordering an item worth $20, those shipping fees can seem excessive, leaving the shopper second-guessing themselves before making a purchase.
As an ecommerce retailer, your choice of package delivery service should factor into your pricing strategy. This can include creating special promotions or minimum order amounts in order to offer free shipping.
Are you offering free shipping?
When offering free shipping, an ecommerce brand should use the most affordable delivery service they can. With the right pricing strategy in place (minimum order amounts or limiting the offer to specific products), you’ll be able to offer free shipping without eating into your profit margins.
One option to consider when looking for a carrier is a third-party logistics provider (3PL) that can access special shipping discounts from different carriers that can reduce shipping costs even further.
Don’t forget the billable weight and size of the package
The size and weight of the products you sell will need to be considered when choosing which package delivery service is best for your ecommerce orders. Smaller items that weigh less than 70 lbs. can utilize options like a USPS® Flat Rate Box, whereas heavier or larger items could require a different delivery service such as non-postal small package options, or even LTL shipping (less-than-truckload) for large packages over 150 lbs. Ecommerce brands should consult with a delivery expert on what shipping services are best for specific products and large packages.
Consult a package delivery expert
With so many factors to consider, it pays to talk with someone who understands the complexities of ecommerce shipping. The right delivery partner can help you understand how to get the most out of each shipping company’s package delivery services so your ecommerce brand can continue delivering a great experience while saving on shipping costs.