Every e-commerce business—regardless of size, product category, or experience—shares a common challenge: shipping orders to customers. The key to thriving online is finding a way to get products into your customers’ hands quickly while keeping your transportation costs low.
If you want to compete with larger, more established e-commerce businesses, it’s even more important to find opportunities where you can save on shipping. The good news is that there are three simple strategies that can help you manage costs and still deliver for your customers.
Tip #1: Take Advantage of New Discounts for Shift4Shop Shippers
Today’s online shoppers expect free or low-cost shipping. While lower shipping costs are great for customers, it can be difficult for online retailers to offer these discounted rates for every online order. While some retailers can find a way to include the price of shipping into the cost of the item, it’s not always possible for smaller, low-cost products.
One of the major benefits of using the Shift4Shop shipping platform is the ability to access discounts from major carriers, like FedEx. These discounts can help you stay competitive without having to raise prices or dip into profit margins to cover free or low-cost shipping.
With new discounts provided through the FedEx Advantage® program, Shift4Shop merchants can save up to 50% on FedEx® shipping and business services. There are no minimum shipping requirements — and enrollment is free.
All you have to do is sign up, and you can choose from a range of flexible, reliable delivery options from FedEx at discounted prices. It’s as simple as that.
As a Shift4Shop customer, you’ll enjoy significant savings* on select FedEx® shipping and FXO services, automatically:
- Up to 32% off select FedEx Home Delivery + 25% off Residential Waiver
Deliver to your residential customers every day of the week and enjoy day-definite delivery in 1–5 days. Available everywhere.
- Up to 55% off select FedEx Express international services
Expand your reach around the globe with a simplified customs process and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories.
- Up to 40% off select FedEx Ground® outbound and return services
FedEx Ground is faster to more locations than UPS Ground. Deliver shipments sooner with cost-effective, day-definite delivery and transit times supported by a money-back guarantee.
- Up to 20% off select FedEx Office® services
Print documents from anywhere, anytime. You can also visit our FedEx Office and retail locations to have items packed and shipped or access time- and money-saving business services.
*Discounts off list rates for eligible services.
Tip #2: Compare Shipping Services
For many online retailers, products may come in all shapes and sizes—and customers may have different expectations about how quickly their orders should arrive. You may be able to use one box and one shipping service for every order, but chances are your packaging and service needs will change depending on what your customers buy.
Choosing the right services for your online order fulfillment is critical to your success. It’s important to be strategic when you select your shipping options—and discounts shouldn’t be your only concern. Making strategic decisions about which services you use can help you balance the your customers’ desire for fast fulfillment and your need to keep costs down. Here’s a few tips to help you weigh your options:
- Think about the items you ship most. Are you shipping one product or do you need to accommodate thousands of SKUs? How large is a typical online order? Do you need to ship a few items to a customer’s home or multi-piece shipments to businesses? Is it something customers typically need right away or will getting it there within a few days meet their needs?
- Know the average value of your shipments. Online shoppers may not be willing to pay for shipping on small, lower-priced items, so using the most economical option can help you stay competitive.
- Factor online returns into your strategy. How often you need to process online returns? Are your orders typically returned for credit or as an exchange for a different item? It’s important to be especially thoughtful about returns because online retailers may get more of them than brick-and-mortar locations.
Shipping online orders can feel overwhelming — especially as your online store continues to grow. That’s why we have created a comprehensive guide to FedEx shipping services available through Shift4Shop, so you can compare your options and find the right solutions for your business.
Domestic Package Shipping (150lbs or Less)
- FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery: 1-7 business days based on distance
FedEx Ground is faster to more residential locations than UPS Ground. With 7-day service from FedEx Home Delivery, you can deliver every day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday, as late as 8 p.m.
- FedEx SmartPost:2-7 business days for low-weight packages
Reduce transit time, minimize handling, and maximize cost savings for low-weight shipments. FedEx SmartPost® provides cost-effective residential shipping to any U.S. address by using the S. Postal Service® for final-mile delivery.
- FedEx Express Saver: 3 business days
When you have more time, FedEx Express Saver can help you save money without sacrificing service and reliability. Count on delivery by 4:30 p.m. in 3 business days to most areas, and by 8 p.m. to residences in all 50 states (except Alaska and Hawaii).
- FedEx 2Day AM: 2 business days, morning
For urgent, non-emergency shipments, select FedEx 2Day AM. You can count on a cost-effective solution that offers morning delivery by 10:30 a.m. in 2 business days to most areas, and by noon to some rural areas in all 50 states (except Hawaii).
- FedEx 2Day: 2 business days, afternoon
Whether you are shipping to a business or a home, FedEx 2Day is the choice when overnight delivery is not needed. Count on delivery by 4:30 p.m. in 2 business days to most areas, and by 8 p.m. to residences in all 50 states.
- FedEx First Overnight: morning of the next business day
Sometimes tomorrow’s success hinges on how early a time-sensitive shipment gets delivered. FedEx First Overnight makes your package a first priority with delivery by 8, 8:30, 9, or 9:30 10, 11 a.m., or noon the next business day depending on the destination ZIP code.
- FedEx Priority Overnight: morning of the next business day
Need delivery by tomorrow morning? With FedEx Priority Overnight®, your shipment will arrive by 10:30 a.m. the next business day to most areas, or by noon, 4:30 p.m., or 5 p.m. to remote areas throughout all 50 states.
- FedEx Standard Overnight: afternoon of the next business day
When you have a little more time, choose FedEx Standard Overnight® for delivery by 3 p.m. the next business day to most areas, by 4:30 p.m to rural areas, and by 8 p.m. to residences throughout all 50 states (except certain areas of Alaska and Hawaii).
- FedEx SameDay: delivery within hours
Have an emergency shipment and not a minute to spare? With FedEx SameDay, your package will be at your customer’s door on the same day that you ship it. FedEx SameDay is moving packages less than 150 lbs., 365 days a year, throughout all 50 states.
- FedEx SameDay City: delivery within hours
Get your packages across your metro area in as little as two hours with local courier delivery by FedEx SameDay City. It’s the reliable, cost-effective service you need to do time-critical business with confidence. Now serving more than 20 metro markets across the country.
Domestic Freight Shipping
- Urgent Delivery options including FedEx Custom Critical and FedEx SameDay
- A wide range of Time-Definite Delivery options for most situations
- Day-Definite Delivery options for bulk ground shipments and less-than-truckload (LTL) freight
- Plus other additional freight services
International Package Shipping (150lbs or Less)
Fastest-Possible Delivery options including FedEx International Next Flight
- FedEx® International Next Flight: international delivery within hours
For your most time-critical international shipments, FedEx® International Next Flight offers the fastest-possible delivery to and from more than 220 countries and territories. Reach major cities in just hours depending on flight availability. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Options to ensure delivery within 1, 2, or 3 business days such as FedEx International Priority
- FedEx International First®: day-definite, early morning delivery in 1, 2, or 3 business days
Count on FedEx International First® service for early morning delivery as early as 9 a.m. in 1, 2 or 3 business days to select postal codes in 20 countries including Canada, China, Mexico and Japan. Inbound delivery to select U.S. ZIP codes as early as 8 a.m. from more than 90 countries in 1 or 2 business days.
- FedEx International Priority®: day-definite delivery in 1, 2, or 3 business days
FedEx International Priority® is the most popular international service, with delivery typically in 1, 2 or 3 business days to more than 220 countries and territories. Reach major cities in Canada and Mexico typically in 1 business day, and major cities in Europe, Asia and Brazil by noon typically in 2 business days. Plus, import from more than 220 countries and territories.
5-business-day delivery via FedEx International Economy
- FedEx International Economy®: delivery in 5 business days
When you and your customers have more time, FedEx International Economy® is the most cost-effective choice. Deliver in 2 to 3 business days in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico and in 2 to 5 business days to more than 215 countries and territories. Plus, import from more than 90 countries and territories.
FedEx International MailService for low-value, low-weight items
- FedEx International MailService: delivery in 4–7 (Premium) or 7–11 (Standard) business days from pickup to hand-off to the destination country postal service
When it comes to shipping low-value, low-weight goods, FedEx International MailService is the service of choice for many e-commerce businesses. This fully customizable solution is ideal for items such as apparel, books, brochures, catalogs and CDs.
Plus other additional international shipping services.
Tip #3: Think Strategically about Online Returns
Almost every online business deals with returns — but many struggle with how to provide great customer service while making the process easy and efficient for employees.
Your return policy can impact your e-commerce business even before customers make a purchase from your website.
- Almost half of all online shoppers check a retailer’s return policy before deciding to complete a transaction with an online merchant.
- 11% of shoppers say they have abandoned a shopping cart due to an unsatisfactory return policy.
Returns also provide opportunity to build loyalty and encourage repeat business — so it’s important to develop a policy that makes the process simple and efficient for your customers and your business.
- Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers and 77% of returns comes from repeat customers.
- Returns are a vital component of your online business. Research shows that 96% of online shoppers would shop with a retailer again based on an “easy” or “very easy” return experience.
When you ship with FedEx, you can optimize the return process to create an experience that makes customers want to shop with you again with:
Simple Return Labels
You can provide pre-printed return labels with every order or send a return label via email. This means fewer customer service calls for you and a fast, easy process for customers.
Convenient Dropoffs for Customers
Customers can drop off returns at approximately 55,000 locations, such as FedEx Office, Walgreens, and other local retailers. Get more information at fedex.com/retail-shipping.
Easy Shipment Tracking
Both you and your customers have full visibility of your shipment status with tracking notifications, so you can see when a return is on its way and there’s no need for customers to call and ask for an update about their return.
Flexible Shipping Options
Unless you need products returned quickly to your inventory, have customers make returns using the most economical shipping possible, with the longest delivery time. FedEx offers returns technology options that can help you credit customers for their returns as soon as the shipment is on the way, so you can delight your customers and still save on shipping.
You can learn more about return shipping with FedEx and fedex.com/returns.