Case Study: Beauty & Cosmetics Shipping

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Now we’ll look at some real-world shipping scenarios derived from ShippingEasy customer data (with all identifying characteristics removed) to examine the kinds of shipping methods used for actual shipments, versus what method would make sense given the rate changes coming in 2016.

  • Due to sometimes incomplete customer data (e.g., no weight provided when a seller used USPS Flat Rate or Regional Rate services), we have indicated assumptions and potential options where appropriate

All previously stated assumptions apply, e.g.:

  • These are primarily small-and medium-size eCommerce businesses, shipping between 1,000 and 20,000 shipments per month
  • We used available 2016 pricing data from each carrier:
    • USPS Commercial Plus® Pricing
    • FedEx Standard List Rates, including fuel and residential surcharges
    • UPS Daily Rates, including fuel and residential surcharges
  • Negotiated FedEx or UPS rates may make their services significantly more attractive in some of these scenarios


eCommerce Rate Case Study 1: Beauty & Cosmetics

Our first case is derived from a pair of online cosmetics retailers that ship high volumes of primarily small packages. As you can see, USPS was far and away their most cost-effective option in 2015 and, despite price increases, will remain so in 2016.

Beauty & Cosmetics Shipping Mix


When it comes to beauty and cosmetics, you can see that item delivery time isn’t as pressing for them as it would be in other industries. They also provide customers with a flat shipping rate, incentivizing free shipping if an order becomes large enough.

Beauty & Cosmetics shipping changes going into 2016


Moving into 2016, they will not be changing any shipping services for their products, moving most average order prices up only with a slight decrease in a sample Nail Polish & Eye Shadow order.

Read about our next case study, reviewing the shipping service mix for a clothing and apparel company.

Case Study 2: Clothing & Apparel


This is from the eCommerce Seller’s Guide to 2016 Shipping Rate Changes by ShippingEasy:


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