Want to increase your online sales? Offer fast shipping. Although it may not always be the ultimate deciding factor for customers, offering a fast shipping option can crucial to your eCommerce success.
There are several vital reasons to get on fast shipping programs on channels such as Amazon, Walmart or eBay:
1. When you offer fast shipping, you increase the chances of conversion. Not offering fast or free shipping can increase the risk of cart abandonment in your eStore, whichever platform you’re selling on.
61% of customers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery, and 18% point out fast delivery as the determining factor in determining where to shop online.
2. Come holiday season, shoppers will often look for fast shipping options. If company A offers fast shipping a week before Thanksgiving or Christmas and company B doesn’t, which site do you think customers will likely buy from?
3. Customer Satisfaction: Appearing and delivering on fast shipping programs can lead to more positive reviews and five-star ratings. Quick shipping, free delivery, accurate estimations, and tracking information all contribute to a positive customer journey that will reflect well in reviews online. Incidentally, this can help influence future customers to trust and buy from you.
4. Account longevity: When customers see you promise fast delivery and keep your promise, they’ll come back to you and also recommend you to their peers.
What is considered fast shipping?
Once upon a time, fast shipping could be considered up to seven days. That’s turtle speed compared with today’s average, which is between one and -three days for a delivery to be considered “fast.” In some marketplaces, 2-day shipping merits fast shipping tags.
Amazon, Walmart, and eBay all offer their own versions of fast shipping programs. A study showed that more than 50% of holiday shoppers considered “fast shipping” to be 2 days or less. Of course, if the shipping is from one corner of the earth to another, two days might be a bit optimistic.
Amazon, eBay, and Walmart have painstakingly built a reputation based on quality products and reliable delivery, resulting in customer trust and satisfaction: when a person is looking for a product, chances are he or she will first “window shop” on one or all of the top eCommerce sites, but look for the best deal available.
We live in a world of “we want to get it now.” Or at least, your customers do. That’s why it’s imperative for eCommerce businesses to get on the fast shipping bus: simply, if you don’t offer fast shipping and your competitor does, who do you think has the immediate advantage? Perhaps your product is just a bit better, but the fact that they offer fast shipping is already sitting in the customer’s mind and could be the swaying factor.
Don’t let it.
Once upon a time, if customers wanted fast shipping, sellers would have to use a special delivery company. However, with the advent of Amazon Prime and then Walmart’s 2-day shipping and eBay’s Guaranteed Delivery services, the world of shipping turned on its head.
How Fast Shipping Works
How do you get on them?
Because Amazon, eBay, and Walmart have, in essence, offered a guaranteed arrival time, the seller must adhere to their strict guidelines to be accepted into their fast shipping programs.
FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) customers automatically qualify for Amazon Prime. SFP sellers wanting to qualify must have:
- A Professional Seller Account;
- Fulfilled at least 30 Premium Shipping orders in the past 30 days;
- An on-time delivery rate of more than 96% (99% during your trial);
- A cancellation rate of less than 1%; and
- Tracking IDs on more than 94% of orders.
Once sellers have been accepted into the Amazon Prime program, they must maintain a 30-day period of 4.5+ feedback rating and work with only with approved Shipping Service carriers.
Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping
In order to qualify for Walmart’s 2-day shipping, sellers must be on the marketplace for 90 days at least, have a customer-friendly product return policy, and meet specific metrics, that are Online sellers qualifying for Walmart’s seller-fulfilled free 2-day shipping must have been on the marketplace for at least 90 days, have a generous returns policy and meet strict metrics, that are analyzed over a period of 30 days. These include:
- On-time shipping rate (95% or higher)
- Delivery rate of 95% or higher
- Quantity of authentic products shipped: 99.5% +
- Accurate tracking rate of 95% or higher
- Cancellation rate of 1.5% or below
For sellers who cannot or don’t want to meet the SLAs of the program, you can get pre-approved access to the Walmart fast shipping program through their fulfillment partner, Deliverr.
Tip: Learn more about their fulfillment rate decreases for Walmart 2-day orders.
eBay Guaranteed Delivery
To be part of eBay’s vaunted Guaranteed delivery program, you need to have had more than 100 transactions over a year, as well as meeting the following criteria:
- A late shipping rate of 5% or less
- A same or 1-day handling time
- A minimum of 97% on-time handling once on the program
- A minimum of 95% on-time tracking upload once on the program
Remember that customers can filter according to many categories, one of them is fast shipping. If the customer does that and you don’t offer fast shipping, that pretty much eliminates you from his list.
Remember, to make fast shipping work out financially, you need to ensure that your profits aren’t being negated by shipping expenses. Product research & analysis platforms such as Algopix can help eCommerce sellers discover which products to sell, in which global marketplace (Amazon, eBay or Walmart) and at what price.
If you’ve been working with a certain fulfillment method up to now, tossing fast shipping into the equation may force you to reconsider your fulfillment arrangement. For inventory efficiency, consider outsourcing fulfillment to a multi-channel solution that can support fast shipping wherever you sell.
Are you overspending on warehousing, fulfillment, packaging, and/or staffing costs when cheaper options are out there? To help figure out your expenditure, you can use Amazon’s FBA calculator.
The bottom line
Fast shipping is no longer a luxury, but a ‘must-have’ option for eCommerce sellers and their customers. When they need an item quickly, customers will remember sellers who offer fast shipping (or free shipping, for that matter).