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How to use expedited shipping in your business

Using expedited shipping in your business lets you deliver orders faster than standard shipping allows. This guide covers the pros and cons of expedited shipping, how it’s different from other shipping methods, and how it can help you drive more sales. 

What is expedited shipping?

Expedited shipping is delivering goods to customers faster. Unlike standard shipping methods, your goods go straight from pick-up to delivery location – with minimal stops in between. This process significantly reduces transit time.

How fast is expedited shipping?

The speed of expedited shipping varies depending on several factors: 

  • Size or type of goods

  • Fulfilment provider

  • Shipping carrier

  • Delivery location

For most carriers, standard shipping can take anywhere from 3-10 business days, while expedited shipping can be overnight or within 2 days.

Order placed versus order processed

Delivery time is calculated based on when an order is processed, not when a customer places it. If a customer orders during the weekend or on a public holiday, this could extend expedited shipping time. 

What is the difference between standard and expedited shipping?

The primary difference between standard and expedited shipping is the estimated delivery time. 

Standard shipping

Standard shipping is the most common way to send a parcel. While it can take up to 10 business days for goods to be delivered, standard shipping is the cheapest option for you and your customers. 

Expedited shipping

If you need to send something quickly, expedited shipping will ensure your package arrives faster than standard shipping. It’s a more expensive way to send items – you can absorb these costs or add them to your customer’s invoice. 

What are the pros of expedited shipping? 

There are several advantages to offering your customers expedited shipping, including:

Reduced cart abandonment

Expedited shipping can help reduce cart abandonment and the flow-on effect of lost sales. One of the top reasons customers leave their orders is that there are too few delivery options or shipping is too slow. Customers are much more likely to complete a purchase if they know they'll receive their order quickly.

Improved customer experience 

For many customers, having the option of fast delivery isn't just about convenience – it's an indicator that your business prioritises their needs. Using expedited shipping to get orders into customers' hands faster creates a more streamlined and satisfying shopping experience. 

Builds customer loyalty 

Customers will make repeat purchases from a business that delivers their orders fast and on time. Your solid track record will also strengthen your business’ reputation, helping you attract new customers.  

Competitive advantage

With expedited shipping, you can provide customer service that sets you apart from competitors who only offer standard shipping options. This differentiator may help you reach a new customer segment and work towards increasing your market share. 

Save money on inventory costs

From an operational perspective, expedited shipping can reduce inventory carrying costs. By increasing sales you can move inventory quicker. And, because expedited shipping means packages go to fewer places on their way to your customer, there's less chance the items will arrive broken or damaged, saving you replacement costs. 

What are the cons of expedited shipping?

While there are lots of benefits associated with expedited shipping, there are some drawbacks: 

High cost compared to other shipping options

Expedited shipping comes with higher shipping charges, which may impact your profit margins if you absorb these costs rather than passing them on. If an order is less than your average customer spends, it'll cost you more to deliver the item/s. On the other hand, if you offer free standard shipping, and charge for expedited shipping, the additional fees might mean they buy somewhere else. 

Delivery can be limited by the recipient's location

If a customer's delivery location is too distant or in a rural area, you mightn't be able to offer expedited shipping, limiting to whom and where you can offer this service. 

Logistical complexities can disrupt customer experience

Sometimes expedited delivery can't be guaranteed, like on public holidays or if you're running low on inventory. This scenario can negatively impact a customer's experience, especially if you've charged them for faster shipping.

Expedited shipping best practices

Follow these expedited shipping best practices to streamline order management and fulfilment. 

Implement a minimum spend 

One way to offer your customers free expedited shipping is by setting a minimum spend threshold. For a customer to qualify for free expedited shipping, they need to order more than your average customer spends – this should help you manage the additional freight costs and stay profitable. 

Outsource fulfilment to multiple distribution centres 

The less distance a parcel travels, the faster and cheaper it'll be to ship to your customer. By distributing your inventory across multiple fulfilment centres, stock will be closer to your customers. You can then deliver quicker to them using expedited ground shipping rather than costly air shipping. 

Employ the assistance of a 3PL provider 

Outsourcing fulfilment to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) can help small businesses leverage shipping options like expedited shipping, access discounts to keep freight costs low, and streamline order fulfilment and delivery processes. 

Expedited shipping providers in New Zealand 

Many companies offer expedited delivery services within New Zealand and internationally. Here are some providers you can work with:

Domestic delivery services

International delivery services

Expedited shipping FAQs

What’s the difference between overnight and expedited shipping?

The main difference between overnight and expedited shipping is that with overnight shipping, customers can expect their delivery the next day. Overnight shipping is a type of expedited shipping that generally comes at an extra cost. Expedited shipping means faster than standard shipping but it also costs more.

What’s the difference between expedited and priority shipping?

The main difference between expedited and priority shipping is that priority shipping is a standard shipping method that gives a parcel priority delivery. This means the parcel will be delivered faster than standard shipping, but not as quickly as expedited shipping. 

Expedited shipping is an umbrella term for fast shipping methods like overnight or two-day delivery. Expedited shipping is more expensive than priority shipping and is the best option if a customer urgently needs something. 

Ship orders faster with help from MYOB

For customers to take full advantage of expedited shipping, you must make it easy for your warehouse team to pick, pack and ship orders efficiently. With MYOB’s business management platform, you can track and automate warehouse management tasks so you can quickly and efficiently hand the package to your carrier for delivery. That way, your customers receive their orders quickly and on time, every time. 

Find out more, speak to an ERP expert.

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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