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Delivery Service Level Options

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While most customers are willing to wait five or more days for an order to arrive*, the availability of expedited delivery is fast becoming table stakes for eCommerce sellers. In order to decide how many service levels to offer, you have to balance what your specific customers want versus the complexity and cost of offering multiple options. Notice that the decision to offer multiple service levels is separate from how you should structure the associated fees and thresholds; those topics are covered in the next section, “Shipping Pricing Options”.

 

Delivery service level options typically include:

  • Standard/default: the least expensive and slowest option, often defaulting to USPS or the ground option on a private carrier
  • Expedited: typically a trackable 2-3 day service like USPS Priority Mail or UPS Second Day Air, offered at an incremental shipping cost—or free as part of a subscription service (e.g., Amazon Prime) or as a promotional incentive
  • Overnight: trackable next-day delivery with the highest incremental shipping charge

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