Over 50% of shoppers are likely to transact with your business if you show the delivery options. This is why we say that shipping in eCommerce is not a cakewalk. Now, let’s take a step further. Is this only about showing delivery options prior to checkout or do the options/methods also matter? Turns out they do, especially in an eCommerce business. In order to help eCommerce founders find answers to this, we did a research of our own and found out the best shipping methods to use at checkout for an eCommerce business. We asked eCommerce business owners, leaders in the supply chain, and logistics professionals and here’s what they have to say.
Before we begin, let’s brush up on our knowledge of the shipping methods that are used at checkout.
Types of shipping methods at checkout –
- Standard shipping – This type of shipping doesn’t require paying an extra shipping fee. Every eCommerce company offers Standard shipping at checkout.
- Same-day delivery – Offering wonderful leverage to local businesses, this type of shipping is very popular. It comes with an extra fee. However around 41% of shoppers would happily pay for it.
- Overnight shipping – Cheaper than same-day shipping but more expensive than expedited shipping, overnight shipping gives you one night to ship your orders.
- Expedited shipping – Orders coming through Expedited shipping takes 1-2 days to arrive. Most small businesses that cannot provide overnight or same-day shipping go for expedited shipping.
We conducted a poll on the best shipping methods and we found out which option eCommerce founders like the most.
Standard shipping was a clear winner here.
Standard was followed by Priority shipping and a Flat Rate.
For the purpose of adding weight to their preferences, we asked the experts why they chose what they chose and they elaborated on why they preferred a particular method over others.
One thought that many eCommerce founders would second in a heartbeat is that in these times, going with a safe shipping option is the best way forward.
However, being safe could not be a long-term shipping strategy. A sound shipping strategy and what shipping methods to show at checkout involves digging deeper into your eCommerce business and weighing all the nuances. The first one is the origin and destination of your orders.
However as stated, this is rather difficult. Here’s what Jeroen suggested further.
Evidently, experts are suggesting that Standard (Free) Delivery coupled with Priority shipping is both viable for your business and promising for your customers. However, there’s a third option that is working quite well these days – Click and Collect. Click and Collect, as the name suggests, lets your customers COLLECT their orders from your inventory (the local store). It saves cost, does not require paying extra, promotes upsell and so much more. Being a part of the hybrid fulfilment model, it is becoming a sought-after option in post-Covid times.
Best shipping method for small business
For small businesses, shipping is a debatable subject. They do want to invest in it but their numbers don’t let them. In this case, standard shipping is the way out as you need to check where you stand. One metric that would let a small business figure out shipping is the Average Order Value or AOV.
To be honest, not all places are the same. A business in New York and a business in Saskatchewan, while having the same AOV, might end up paying differently for shipping. Hence, might have different shipping methods when it comes to checkout. Shipping costs in Canada are outrageous (here’s a blog post about the cheapest overnight shipping options in Canada to give you an idea). This is what makes shipping in Canada different from shipping in other countries.
So, what did the experts choose for a Canadian eCommerce business?
1. Standard shipping
2. Priority shipping
That being said, for urgent shipments in Canada, never hesitate to offer overnight shipping –
While Standard saves money, Priority shipping saves time. But, is that all it does? When you ask extra for shipping, you (the retailer) become extra careful while your customer is now less patient.
A strategic way to do this would be having Standard shipping and if you do not already have Priority shipping in your checkout option, give your customers the space to let you know if they need something urgently.
Wherever you are, giving options is always a good idea.
Can shipping methods be a way for you to reward loyal customers?
The shipping methods at checkout can also differ for different customers. When you offer a “Free” shipping service after the first or second purchase, the customer feels part of the brand’s community. This could boost loyalty and your customers would know that you are rewarding their repeat purchases by paying their shipping costs. This way you would bring in the right people to your eCommerce business.
If this got you thinking, who pays for Free Shipping? Read this.
Cheapest shipping method
The question that might pop into your head at this moment is – What is the cheapest shipping method?
From the perspective of customers, the price is dependent on the urgency.
From the perspective of shippers, it is the one that allows them to save the most – Standard shipping.
If this got you thinking, where do I go if I need affordable and the best companies that would help me achieve this? Here’s a quick list of the Top 10 Canadian shipping companies for eCommerce.
eCommerce businesses have a lot of internal stakeholders. There might come a situation where Sales may need Logistics to offer a particular rate to make the deal happen. In that case, you can do this –
Here’s a quick comparison that would make things even more clear –
The bottom line is the best shipping method to use at checkout depends heavily on the kind of business you do, the urgency of your customers, the destinations and more. However, time and again it has been proven that customers do not mind waiting for their orders as long as they don’t have to pay for shipping and they know it’s coming.
If you need some guidance for creating the ultimate shipping strategy that goes beyond shipping methods, here is a blog post that unveils the shipping strategies of top apparel companies in Canada. Give it a read.
If you are shipping within Canada, ShippingChimp is a way more affordable option as compared to FedEx or Canada Post. Whether you are offering Standard shipping or Priority shipping, with our warehouses covering the most crucial locations across Canada, we are prepared to deliver your orders on time. You can save up to 53% on shipping costs. Start your free trial today!
- Why ShippingChimp is Canada Post’s best alternative for SMBs - September 22, 2023
- Cheapest shipping in Canada in 2023 - August 18, 2023
- Best shipping methods to use at checkout – An Expert Roundup - July 28, 2023