Fast shipping is getting faster. Ninety-five percent of consumers consider next-day delivery as fast shipping, instead of two or three days.
Sellers offering next-day delivery on their listings benefit from increased sales, visibility, market dominance, and positive reviews – even when compared to two-day delivery listings.
But delivering orders in one-day is tough when you don’t have the right processes and resources set up.
In this guide, we’ll share some advice on achieving next day delivery for your listings in a cost-effective and reliable way.
What is next day delivery?
Next day delivery is a fast shipping option that provides customers with their order on the next business day, depending on your shipping carrier’s cutoff time. You may have heard next day delivery referred to as overnight shipping or 1-day delivery.
For example, Hey Dude Shoes uses Deliverr to offer NextDay delivery to buyers in qualified areas. They highlight it on their website listings and their banner.
Why is next day delivery important?
As consumer expectations and online marketplaces shift towards increasingly faster delivery, there’s multiple reasons it’s crucial you offer next day delivery.
1) Keeping up with online marketplaces
Amazon is constantly raising the bar with fast shipping – now offering 1-Day delivery to Prime members for free. You must keep up with Amazon if you want to sell on Amazon, qualify for SFP, or attract shoppers away from Amazon.
2) Meeting customer expectations
Amazon’s ever-increasing shipping speeds are raising customer expectations too. As mentioned, 95% of shoppers consider next-day delivery as fast shipping – if you’re advertising fast shipping speeds but delivering in two-days, you’re not meeting expectations: this risks cart abandonment and customer churn.
3) Standing out from competitors
Many online retailers now offer two-day shipping; to stand out, you must offer even faster delivery options. Next day delivery sets you apart as a premium retailer who invests in and values the customer experience. And, while other retailers are still catching up, you have a unique window of opportunity to become the market leader of next day delivery in your niche.
Next day delivery increases your audience reach by encompassing last-minute shoppers, urgent purchases, and impatient buyers. This leads to reduced cart abandonment and more conversions.
How to provide next-day deliveries
To provide next-day deliveries, you must maximize efficiencies and fuel speed across your entire fulfillment process. If you’re self-fulfilling orders, that means know where your demand is to strategically distribute inventory, using the right tools, and selecting the right carrier partners.
Distribute stock strategically
The closer your stock sits to your potential customers, the less time it spends in transit, and the quicker it’s delivered.
Use a network of warehouses across the country to store stock in locations closest to historic demand. Not only does this decrease the shipping journey, but it also reduces next-day delivery carrier costs.
Use real-time order management software
You want to download and process orders as quickly as possible, to allow more time for next-day delivery fulfillment.
Invest in multi-channel listing and order management software that integrates with your sales channels and warehouse management systems to download orders in real-time and allocate them to the correct warehouse.
Many order management systems also auto-generates pick lists and shipping labels – increasing efficiencies further.
Optimize picking and packing
A lot of time is needlessly wasted during picking and packing – giving your shipping carrier less time to work with.
Streamline your picking and packing with tactics like…
- Creating a warehouse layout that lends itself to efficiency by reflecting your process flows
- For example, order download station > most popular items > least popular items > packing station > collection.
- Implementing a SKU system to classify and organize stock, making it easy to locate for picking.
- Having enough permanent and temporary staff to handle demand during standard and peak periods.
- Running staggered warehouse shifts to increase your hours of operation
Use reliable carriers
Once your orders are out of the warehouse door, it’s down to your shipping carrier to make that next-day delivery deadline. Pick a reliable shipping carrier that guarantees certain delivery speeds and overnight shipping.
Tips for mastering next-day deliveries
Now you’re tooled to offer next-day deliveries, it’s time to master next-day deliveries.
1) Reduce shipping options
The more delivery options you offer and work with, the more complicated it becomes for your warehouse staff.
Consider reducing your shipping options to three; next-day, 2-day, and standard delivery.
2) Start small
Before rolling out next-day deliveries country-wide and finding out that you can’t cope, start small by offering next-day delivery to customers located near your warehouses.
Starting small enables you to test and tighten your one-day delivery processes, without risking all of your customer relationships. Ensure that you have a robust method for handling any late deliveries, that quickly rectifies the situation and appeases affected customers.
Related reading: What to do when your deliveries are late
3) Use an outsourced fulfillment partner
As you see, next day delivery requires expertise, time, and resources. Should it go wrong, you risk damaging your online reputation and future. If your online business isn’t big enough to offer next day deliveries or is too busy to cope with the volume in-house, use an outsourced fulfillment partner who can guarantee speed and reliability.
An outsourced eCommerce fulfillment partner has the skills, capacity, and experience to guarantee next-day delivery across the country, using a warehouse network to disburse stock and reduce the distance traveled.
4) Avoid custom packaging
Not only have we seen custom packaging end up more susceptible to package theft, it slows down your fulfillment speed. Any additional steps you add into the process, such as having your provider use special boxes or add custom inserts, will slow down your delivery time and affect your buyer experience.
If you want to use branded boxes or include things like postcards and stickers, we recommend sending them into your fulfillment network pre-packed and ready to go, inserts and all.
Read more: Why branded boxes are hurting your profits
The cost of next-day delivery
Amazon has set expensive expectations when it comes to fast shipping – offering next-day deliveries for “free” with their subscription service.
Regardless of whether you offer next-day delivery for free or at cost, there are ways to reduce the overheads of delivering so quickly.
As we touched upon, outsourcing the fulfillment of next day deliveries can reduce your operational overheads. Your provider has economies of scale for packaging, storage, and shipping carriers – resulting in low prices that are difficult to obtain yourself.
Outsourced fulfillment providers also have the motivation to operate in the most cost-effective way possible, to attract online sellers and can even beat the likes of Amazon FBA.
The more dispersed your warehouse network is, the less distance orders must travel to customers. This reduces your shipping carrier charges while also decreasing the occurrence of late deliveries and the associated compensation.
If you offer next-day delivery for free, consider a minimum spend requirement to increase basket size and profit margins. Don’t forget that Amazon customers must pay for Prime or spend at least $35 to get free 1-Day delivery.
Now you know the tricks of the trade to offer next-day deliveries on your listings, all you need to do is get started.