While a hundred years ago you’d be lucky to get a package across the country in a few weeks, over the last twenty years the ecommerce industry has completely changed customer expectations. Amazon is credited for transforming how shoppers think about delivery of their ordered goods. Prior to the launch of Prime in 2005, 2-Day shipping was unheard of (forget FREE 2-Day shipping). Nowadays 2-Day shipping is a part of the normal online retail experience because the first thing customers typically think after identifying something they want is how fast they can get it. Ergo, ecommerce brands that don’t offer fast shipping options could be missing out on a lot of business.
A 2020 ecommerce shipping study determined that 27% of shoppers will choose one ecommerce brand over the other based on speed of delivery options. Fast-forward to 2022, customers have only gotten harder to please because Amazon has pushed a precedent of free prime 2-Day shipping, sometimes even same day shipping, to its millions of members. But don’t worry; please them you can! ShipMonk partners with a variety of major shipping carriers to offer you an assortment of shipping services. And our first-of-its-kind, carrier agnostic Virtual Carrier Network ensures our ecommerce merchants aren’t handcuffed to any single one, while offering an assortment of service levels.
Amongst our shipping services, one of our most popular (especially now in peak season) is the 2-Day shipping option. Continue reading to discover the benefits of 2-Day shipping, and learn why it’s an instrumental part of ecommerce brand success today.
What is 2-Day Shipping?
Before we break down the benefits, let’s properly understand what 2-Day shipping entails. 2-Day shipping is when ecommerce customers receive their orders within two days of purchase, assuming they click BUY before a specific cutoff time on a given day. Sound simple? Well, within those two days a lot happens to get a package from a warehouse or fulfillment center to a customer’s door. In that tight turnaround an ecommerce order is processed and the information is sent to the designated warehouse or fulfillment center responsible for fulfilling that order. The order is then picked, packed, and sent out for delivery through a shipping carrier.
Note—depending on the shipping carrier used, and an ecommerce merchant’s internal processes, “2-Day shipping” could refer to two full days (48 hours) or two business days (which is counted from the moment of purchase, taking into account order cutoff time).
For example, say an ecommerce merchant has a 2-Day delivery policy for orders received before 3PM. If you place an order on Wednesday before the 3PM the cutoff, it delivers on Friday. If you place an order on Wednesday after the 3PM cutoff, it delivers on Saturday. This is the case if the company has a flat 2 day policy though. As in, the package will be delivered 2 days later, regardless of the day of the week.
If the ecommerce merchant has a 2 businesses day policy, then if you place an order on Wednesday before the 3PM the cutoff, it still delivers on Friday. But if you place an order on Wednesday after the 3PM cutoff, it delivers on Monday because you missed the Wednesday deadline and that led to the order being processed and prepped on Thursday.
Many ecommerce businesses have a 2 business day policy on their 2-day programs. Meaning orders might only process within business days (typically defined as Monday through Friday). Whatever your specific policy, as an ecommerce merchant, it’s important to clearly explain your 2-Day specifications and cut offs during check out and in your documentation so customers aren’t caught off guard with delivery expectations.
Why 2-Day Shipping Matters
In the first two quarters of 2022, the U.S. conducted $252.14 billion in ecommerce merchant revenue (an increase of 7.3% from the same time period measured in 2021). Additionally, the United States Census Bureau estimated $548.4 billion worth of new orders for manufactured goods just a couple months ago. And global ecommerce rose from 15% of retail sales to an estimated 22% of sales in 2022.
Why are we throwing all these facts and figures at you? Because ecommerce merchants are facing a perfect storm of opportunity and competition. The factor in today’s gotta-have-it-now environment that could determine if you get the better of opportunity or if competition gets the better of you can come down to shipping.
Yes, site design, advertising, branding, and, of course, product design have an impact on customer acquisition. However, fast delivery is seen as a value add-on to shoppers who have been molded to expect quicker delivery times year over year. Fast shipping, like the preferred 2-Day shipping option, keeps you competitive with other brands, as customers have been known to pick one seller over the other based on delivery times. And at the end of the day, that speed, combined with order accuracy, can entice buyers to come back and convert into repeat customers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg . . .
Benefits of Offering 2-Day Shipping
1. Reduce Cart Abandonment
Fact: Two of the top reasons online shoppers abandon carts are high shipping costs and slow delivery speeds. According to a Baymard Institute study done in 2022, 18% of cart abandonment is attributed to slow delivery speeds. Why? Because if a customer needs an item urgently or by a deadline, is eager for an anticipated product, or is just impatient, slow shipping speed is a purchase deterrent. In other words, if someone needs an order sooner rather than later, and you can’t accommodate that, say Bye-Bye-Bye to that buyer.
If your brand is going to be competitive in the ecommerce marketplace, you should offer 2-Day shipping to accommodate customers who may want or need their orders quickly. It doesn’t have to be an automatically triggered shipping service; you could offer economy, standard, 2-Day, or even overnight shipping for buyers to choose from.
Similarly, you don’t have to set one price for all your shipping or offer free 2-Day delivery across the board. How you model your shipping services and shipping prices depends on many factors and there are plenty of ways you can reduce 2-Day shipping costs so your customers are content and you’re still making a profit. The point is to offer your customer options. If you provide an affordable way for potential buyers to select expedited delivery if they so desire, you can prevent cart abandonment, which will increase your sales and pool of brand-loyal customers.
2. Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Most of us have had an experience where an order that didn’t arrive on time caused frustration or concern. Whereas most of us can also relate to the feeling of gratification when a package we were expecting is delivered exactly when destiny (and email confirmation) foretold.
As an ecommerce merchant, you want to do whatever you can to encourage repeat business. That starts with making customers happy the first time around. When online shoppers receive their orders fast and on-time, it fosters a positive impression of your brand, and thus plants the potential for more orders in the future. Conversely, customers that have a bad delivery experience are very unlikely to return. In 2020, more than 33% of customers asserted they wouldn’t return to a retailer following a bad shipping experience. Since 2020 millions of new businesses have launched, so with a ton of options to choose from, it’s best not to underdeliver on your customers’ delivery needs.
If you offer 2-Day shipping, and follow through on it, your ecommerce business can take advantage of the good vibes that it generates with a customer. That could mean increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases, purchases during major sales and promotions, new loyalty program buy-ins and account sign-ups, and new online reviews. The remarketing possibilities are abundant! So you see, having a fast shipping option isn’t just about customer retention; it’s also about future conversions.
How you model your 2-Day delivery options can definitely affect customer satisfaction and their resulting brand loyalty too. So be careful with your offerings. Depending on the sale price of your SKUs and your profit margins, you’ll want to find a sweet spot for how much you charge for 2-Day shipping. Charge too much and customer satisfaction goes out the window for those potential buyers who need orders fast. Meanwhile, charge too little or give 2-Day shipping away for free every time and you could gain a customer but lose a profit. Ergo, choose how you structure your 2-Day shipping option wisely, but do choose to offer it. For tips and tricks on how to reduce 2-Day shipping costs, be sure to check out the next blog in our 2-Day shipping series.
3. Expand Your Seller Talking Points
Just because chocolate chip cookies are delicious and a treat-lover favorite, doesn’t mean every bakery sells them. Just because vegetables have no place in dessert, doesn’t mean there aren’t some wacky confectionists selling broccoli-flavored ice cream. And just because all ecommerce brands should offer a 2-Day shipping option to stay competitive, doesn’t mean they all do. Sometimes, despite solid backing for an idea, people won’t go for it. But their loss is your gain.
2-Day shipping is an excellent seller talking point you can highlight on your website, in your email promotions, across your social media and advertising, etc. Why? Speedy shipping is something everyone wants and it is an attention-grabbing tool in your marketing tool belt that can catch customer interest and influence buyers toward your brand over another.
And if you offer free 2-Day shipping on your website, or even selective free 2-Day shipping (conditional based on minimum order spend, membership or account perks, buyer zip code), EVEN BETTER! Free or not, market that 2-Day shipping selling point everywhere. It’s an enticing advantage that makes you stand out to potential buyers who are on the precipice of making a purchase, consumers in the middle of the conversion funnel, and those who were just in browse mode too.
Bring on the Benefits!
Customer experience is measured in everything from ease of site navigation to the big unboxing moment when an order is delivered, sometimes even beyond if a claim or return needs to be made. Meanwhile, customer acquisition can be influenced by everything from promotions to pricing. Both, however, are heavily influenced by shipping. And one of the most critical aspects of shipping for an ecommerce merchant is speed. Hence why ShipMonk is dedicated to providing our clients with stellar 2-Day shipping options.
Whether you’re a new ecommerce merchant to the market or an established brand, offering 2-Day shipping with the help of ShipMonk has the incredible potential to turn browsers into buyers, match or exceed your competition, and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The key lesson to remember is finding the right 2-Day shipping model that makes shoppers and profit margins happy. In other words, as long as you strategically implement 2-Day delivery in a way that balances what’s attractive to your customers with what’s beneficial to your bottom line, you’ll be golden! So contact ShipMonk now to apply our gold-standard 2-Day shipping option to your business!