In eCommerce, fast delivery is essential, because ensuring customers receive their orders on time will undoubtedly help your fledgling eCommerce business gain a good reputation, new customers, and more sales.
If you are looking for a metric you can improve to appease your client base, look no further than your eCommerce’s transit times. Let’s discuss all you need to know about them and how they can be improved to gain some happy customers and stand out from the competition.
What Are Transit Times in Shipping?
In shipping, transit is the length of time it takes the courier to deliver the order to your customer’s doorstep. It starts when they pick up the order and ends when it arrives at the final destination.
ECommerce transit times vary depending on multiple factors and can take up a few hours to several months. However, according to the 2020 statistics from ShipStation’s Last Touch, Lasting Impact ebook, users expect to have their packages arrive within eight days. It is safe to say that the participants were being generous about it and that they actually expected their packages to get to them within five days at most.
The Benefits of Fast Transit Times
It boils down to this: ECommerce success is all about convenience. For example, eCommerce statistics show that 28% of shoppers abandon their cart if the store requires them to make an account. Every eCommerce business owner should prioritize convenience when planning their business, and fast delivery of products to customers plays a key role there.
Being able to meet, if not top, your customers’ expectations is essential for your business. 85% of consumers will abandon the cart in search of faster shipping options, and an extra day of delivery can make or break the deal.
Therefore, fast shipping leads to higher conversion rates, which every business needs. Considering the percentage of customers you could be losing, taking the time to improve the transit times in shipping will undoubtedly pay off.
What Factors Play Into Transit Times?
Several factors affect transit times. Some of them you can work on; others might be above your pay grade and will require a plan B. Here are some of them:
Often, service levels can be the most crucial factor to consider when figuring out how to deliver ordered products.
- Ground shipping is usually the cheapest option and can take a few days longer to arrive than other shipping methods. However, with ground product shipping services, you can provide lower prices and even free shipping to your customers without affecting your margin.
- Flat-rate shipping costs the same regardless of how much you order and is a good option if you want to make it affordable for your customers to purchase a lot from the same place.
- Freight shipping is usually the most expensive but can be faster than ground shipping. If you want to provide next-day shipping, you might consider this option.
- International shipping can take even longer than ground shipping and may have additional costs like customs fees. However, this is frequently the only option for dropshippers to deliver goods crafted abroad to their customers.
The destination zone can play a crucial role in eCommerce transit times. For example, sending something to a rural area may take longer because the infrastructure for shipping is not as developed as in more urban areas. Additionally, if you are sending something to an international destination, it will almost always take longer to arrive than if you were sending it domestically.
Time of Year or Weather-Related Issues
Packages sent during the holiday season may take longer to arrive because of the increased volume of mail. That’s when accurate and fast shipping times are the most important metric to your customers.
If your goods are holiday-centric, you should consider using an eCommerce shipping solution that can guarantee delivery by a certain date and have a plan B ready. Having a fallback option is essential for any business that values its customers. Providing your customers with free shipping or offering discounts for their next order to remedy a bad experience are just some of the best practices you can implement for your eCommerce business.
Weather can play a role in how long it takes for a package to arrive, too. For example, if a snowstorm closes down the airport, obviously, packages won’t be able to get through. However, this is not something you can influence. So, being prepared to remedy the situation will be crucial for customer retention. You can achieve this by offering free goodies or refunds – something most eCommerce website builders will let you integrate.
How To Decrease Your eCommerce Transit Times
Decreasing your transit times typically boils down to two things: Carefully planning your shipping strategy and paying a bit extra for faster delivery. Let’s discuss both.
If your existing delivery plan isn’t bringing in the sales you’ve expected, maybe it is time to reconsider. You can employ same-day, two-day, and overnight shipping, as well as expedited delivery. All of these shipping strategies are great options for eCommerce owners who want to ensure customers receive their orders as quickly as possible.
- Same-day shipping is excellent because eCommerce owners who offer it can benefit from increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, offering this option can help you compete with other eCommerce stores that do the same. However, its main drawback is that it requires significant resources from business owners and is often something only top eCommerce stores can afford.
- Overnight shipping is still pretty fast, but you can get it without breaking the bank. Most product shipment carriers offer these services, but their rates can differ significantly, so make sure to look into multiple options.
- Two-day shipping is slowly but surely becoming the norm. It’s a good option for eCommerce stores that don’t have the resources to offer shorter transit times, but still want to provide their customers with a fast shipping option.
Paying a Bit Extra for Your Shipping
Each option above can help you speed up the delivery process, but will also likely require you to raise your prices to accommodate the higher shipping fee. It can also make a significant dent in your profits if you offer free shipping for your goods. That’s why small businesses can transfer costs for expedited eCommerce shipping options to their customers.
In eCommerce, expedited shipping is a service that allows customers to receive their orders sooner than the standard delivery time. Expedited shipping is usually available for an additional fee, and the delivery time varies by shipping company and destination.
This can be a valuable option for your customers who need their items quickly, such as those who are buying a gift or need the items for a special event – without requiring you to pay extra for fast shipping for every product you send out or implement other delivery solutions for eCommerce.