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There’s a new kid on the block in the world of shipping options; expedited shipping. Though expedited shipping isn’t strictly something new, it is a popularised term that is being used more frequently by those within the industry. 

Fast shipping is something that all shoppers still put high on their wishlists. And one of the faster shipping options online stores can use today is expedited shipping. 

In this blog, we’ll go through the essentials to give you expedited knowledge of this “new” craze. 

What is expedited shipping?

Expedited shipping is a little ambiguous. In layman’s terms, it refers to any delivery method that is faster than the more traditionally ‘regular’ delivery methods. 

For each courier, the exact length of time differs. However, there it tends to fall between same-day and, at a push, 2-day delivery timeslots. 

Typically, expedited delivery means that delivery trucks complete deliveries with no stops to ensure the shipping demands and promises are met. 

How fast is expedited shipping?

Expedited means faster than standard. Typically, standard deliveries are between 3-5 days so expedited shipping is anything between 1-3 days

Expedited orders are prioritised over standard orders. This is how couriers ensure that their expedited options are quicker than their standard. 

It’s important to note that if a courier’s standard delivery is 5-10 days then technically their version of expedited delivery can be between 1-5 days. 

Expedited shipping is often broken up by couriers into same-day, next-day, 2-day, etc. delivery options with the quicker options being more expensive. This allows your business and your customers to weigh up cost vs. time efficiently. 

It’s also important to note that the definition of expedited or express shipping may be different for couriers and your customer. Most customers won’t describe a 3-day delivery timeslot as “express” or fast.

Why should your online store offer expedited shipping?

Let’s go through the top 3 advantages of expedited shipping and why it’s a necessity for the success of your business. 

Reduce checkout abandonment 

According to Sendcloud’s consumer research on shipping habits in 2023 (watch this space), 45% of shoppers will abandon an order if the estimated delivery time is too slow. 

With expedited shipping, this issue is avoided. Most customers consider fast delivery as same-day, next-day, or 2-day delivery. 

Improve customer happiness

Most customers who choose expedited delivery are either buying with urgency or triggered by an upsell. Traditionally, the primary purpose of upselling is to increase revenue. However, the secondary purpose is to give the customer something they didn’t know they wanted. 

If a customer chooses to pay a slightly higher shipping fee to get their product sooner, expedited shipping alone has tailored and improved their experience with your online store.

Increase customer lifetime value

Repeat shoppers are imperative for the success of any business. This is why it’s vital that every customer has a positive experience from browsing to delivery. 

With that in mind, 32% of UK shoppers wouldn’t order from an online store again if the delivery arrived later than expected. Expedited delivery is a priority for couriers. It’s often delivered on time. 

Your customers want expedited delivery

51% of online stores offer same-day delivery. 88% of customers are willing to pay for it. Need we say more?

Reduce damaged packages

According to Sendcloud’s 2023 consumer research (coming soon), 47% of shoppers wouldn’t order from an online store again if they received a damaged product. 

With expedited shipping, the shipment goes from the warehouse directly to the customer so there are fewer opportunities for damage due to package handling. 

Sendcloud branded boxes readied for expedited shipping.

How can you offset expedited delivery to avoid killing your revenue margin?

Due to the nature of shipping costs, expedited shipping can be expensive for your business. Here are 3 ways you can offset it to avoid killing your revenue margin.

Ship from multiple distribution centres

The shorter the distance a package has to travel, the cheaper shipping is (usually). You can set up zones close to distribution centres that qualify for expedited delivery and save costs on shipping that way. 

Set up a minimum spend

Setting up a minimum spend threshold means that only customers spending a fair amount with your business can opt for expedited delivery. A good way to calculate this minimum spend is to look at your average order value and ensure that is the minimum. 

Ship with a third-party

Third-party shipping software companies sometimes negotiate exclusive shipping rates with popular couriers. For example, Sendcloud has exclusive expedited UK rates with Evri, DPD, InPost, UPS Express, and Parcelforce.

How Sendcloud can help

As mentioned above, Sendcloud has exclusive pricing with some of the UK’s biggest couriers. Not only that, you can centralise all of your expedited shipping efforts (and general shipping efforts) from one easy-to-use shipping platform

Before testing out that platform by signing up for free, download Sendcloud’s pricing list to discover exactly how much you can save by shipping with Sendcloud.