What is Standard Shipping?

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What is standard shipping, and why is it so important to any company selling physical products?

Simply put, standard shipping is one of the most cost-effective options for delivering items to your target audience in locations around the world. Otherwise known as basic or economy shipping, this order fulfillment concept is managed via couriers like USPS, FedEx, DHL, and many others.

Most retail companies offering delivery and ecommerce brands will offer standard shipping as a standalone solution for their order fulfillment, or as part of a range of shipping options. While standard shipping is generally slower than other delivery options, like express shipping, it’s also more affordable for the consumer and company alike.

Defining Standard Shipping: What does Standard shipping mean?

Implementing the right shipping service is one of the most important steps you’ll take in making your business a success. If you sell physical items, you’ll need to find a way to get these to your customers, through a courier or third-party logistics company.

This is where options like standard shipping come in.

Standard shipping is one of the most common and economic options for order fulfillment. It means using the basic service offered by mail services to get products to your clients. Generally, the term “standard” shipping can refer to any mail services offered as an “economy” option. The exact shipping time you’ll expect will depend on your courier service.

Most of the time, standard shipping vendors will require you to include certain documents with your package, such as a proforma or invoice detailing costs, packing lists to identify items, and certificates of origins for certain items. You may also need to fill out a dangerous goods form with certain types of product.

How Long Does Standard Shipping Take?

With domestic US couriers, the delivery date will usually be within 3-5 business days, as products are shipped to a fulfillment center close to the customer, then transported via the ground. International shipping takes a little longer, and some standard international delivery products take weeks to arrive.

Standard shipping comes with a reasonable delivery time in most cases, and a tracking option so your customer can keep an eye on where the package is going. Almost all couriers offer standard shipping services, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and the UK postal service.

Some of the most common delivery times for shipping companies include:

  • USPS: 2-5 business days with tracking and insurance of up to $50. The United States Postal Service offers both “First class mail” and “USPS Priority Mail” as standard shipping options. With Priority Shipping, you can ship items over 70 pounds, while first class mail is intended for products under 70 pounds in weight.
  • UPS: UPS ground shipping is the standard shipping option for this company. This service allows you to ship all products under 150 pounds within 1-5 days, depending on the location for local and international shipments. Tracking is also included.
  • FedEx: FedEx offers standard shipping with FedEx ground, for all packages up to 150 pounds, $100 of insurance is included, as is tracking. Delivery usually takes 1-5 business days, or 3-7 days to Alaska and Hawaii in the US.

How Much Does Standard Shipping cost?

The price of your delivery service when it comes to standard shipping will depend on the shipping companies you choose, as well as the size and weight of your parcel, and its destination. Most companies will help you to calculate standard shipping cost with an automated calculator. Or you can find FAQs on shipping websites

Most of the time, standard shipping will be the most affordable shipping method offered by any vendor. For instance, USPS standard shipping costs can start at as little as $9.52 for a 2-pound item sent from LA to NY via priority mail.

The same package would cost around $14.84 with the UPS Ground service, while FedEx would cost around $14.39 with the same level of service.

Pros and Cons of Standard Shipping

As an ecommerce company, standard shipping and standard international shipping are some of the most common options you’re likely to offer at checkout.

However, standard delivery speeds are quickly becoming less appealing to many customers. This is why many product shippers are beginning to offer expedited, next day and same-day shipping services. Around 56% of online customers now expect same-day delivery, thanks to the rise of faster shipping methods from companies like Amazon.

With standard shipping, you get:

  • Access to a wider range of couriers
  • Lower costs for shipping and packaging
  • Quick checkout options for a range of customers
  • The option to send products to almost any delivery address

On the other hand, standard shipping also suffers from:

  • Limited flat rate shipping options
  • Lower levels of customer satisfaction
  • Slower transit time

How Does Standard Shipping Compare to Other Options?

In most cases, companies will benefit from offering more than one shipping service, provided their post office allows for this. Delivering priority or express shipping as an additional option will often convince customers to shop more with many brands.

Other than standard shipping, companies can consider:

  • Express shipping: Otherwise known as expedited shipping, deliveries are made with express shipping often with air couriers. The faster rate is ideal for customers who want to receive their products the next day, or as soon as possible. However, express shipping does cost more.
  • Flat rate shipping: Flat rate shipping gives you a specific price to prepare for when offering your customers shipping rates at checkout. However, you’ll need to ensure your products fit within a specific size of package.
  • Tracked shipping: Most couriers offer tracking as standard with their shipping services. However, if you’re shipping something important with standard international shipping or basic shipping and this service isn’t provided, you may be able to offer it for an extra fee.

Is Standard Shipping Important?

While standard shipping might not be the fastest option for getting your products to customers, it is one of the most convenient and cost-effective methods. For people shopping on a budget, the option to choose standard shipping to keep costs low can be very appealing. Some companies even offer free standard shipping when an order value reaches a certain amount, to encourage customers to spend more with each order. 

Bogdan Rancea

Bogdan is a founding member of Inspired Mag, having accumulated almost 6 years of experience over this period. In his spare time he likes to study classical music and explore visual arts. He’s quite obsessed with fixies as well. He owns 5 already.

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