No matter what channel you are selling on, you have the opportunity to use fast shipping to stand out, delight customers, and generate repeat conversions.

Today we're going to cover why fast shipping is so important, how to fulfill at lightning speed no matter where you sell — because no channel or customer should be left behind.

The importance of fast shipping across every channel

Fast shipping is fast becoming the differentiator between successful and unsuccessful sellers. The presence of marketplace features means items with fast shipping are more prominent and included in more filters. To stay competitive, direct to consumer (D2C) stores need to provide fast, with the added benefit of boosting RoAS and increase CLV.

1. Increasing marketplace sales

Offering fast delivery can qualify you for marketplace fast shipping programs like Walmart TwoDay, eBay Fast ‘N Free, and Wish 2-day.

These fast shipping programs can increase marketplace sales through:

  • Search result ranking: appearing higher in organic search results
  • Buy box eligibility: increasing the chances of becoming the default seller for products
  • Customer reach: inclusion in fast-shipping filtered search results
  • Visibility: highlighting your fast shipping options with bright fast shipping tags

2. Increasing Shopify and BigCommerce sales

Lightning-fast delivery speeds can also help you drive more direct sales through your D2C Shopify or BigCommerce stores.

They do this with:

  • SEO: allowing you to target fast shipping-related keywords (such as “fast delivery wine glasses”)
  • Ads: making your Google Shopping ads stand out with dynamic fast shipping tags
  • Trust: increasing consumer trust by demonstrating a commitment to the customer experience
  • Competition: providing shoppers with the convenience of Amazon alongside the brand experience of buying directly

3. Increasing Instagram and Facebook sales

You can add fast shipping tags on your social media ads, helping you to stand out and increase conversions.

Fast shipping featured in a Facebook advertisement

This is achieved through:

  • Stand-out ads: using fast shipping tags to make Facebook and Instagram ads attractive
  • Seamlessness: extending the ease of social media shopping through to a seamless delivery experience
  • Reviews: providing an outstanding service that customers share on social media

4. Generating customer loyalty

Finally, after converting customers on marketplaces, websites, and social media, fast delivery helps you optimize your post-purchase experience.

Here are a few ways reliable fast shipping encourages return business:

  • Buyer experience: providing a great post-purchase experience customers want to return for
  • Trust and convenience: demonstrating your ability to deliver products as promised
  • Urgency: showing customers you can quickly replenish their items as needed

In a nutshell, the most important thing about fast shipping is that it has the power to boost your business across all channels, as shown by Hugaroo.

Fast shipping success in the wild

Hugaroo implemented fast shipping speeds across its Shopify, Walmart, and eBay channels, achieving increased business across all three channels.

Huggaroo fast shipping example on website product page

After adding 2-day shipping tags and options to Hugaroo products, Hugaroo experienced:

  • A 305% increase in Shopify sales in the first 30 days.
  • Access to Walmart 2-day delivery ads to increase daily orders on the platform.
  • Increased sales on eBay after receiving the eBay Fast ‘N Free tag.

At the same time, fast shipping tags made their social media and Google advertising campaigns more effective, decreasing the cost per conversion.

How to offer fast shipping across every channel

Multi-channel selling is more complicated than focusing on a single channel, but it’s always worth diversifying your revenue streams. Offering fast shipping everywhere you sell is a complex task when done in-house, but can be executed with proper planning or outsourced completely to a fulfillment partner.

1. Unify your multi-channel fulfillment

A fragmented fulfillment process is hard to manage, difficult to scale, and costly. If you sell on multiple sales channels and find things getting messy (lost inventory, inaccurate counts, and the like), one of the first things to do is consolidate your fulfillment operations into one network.

If you’re just starting out with multi-channel selling, consolidating your inventory and fulfillment will help you avoid misplacing items, mis-judging demand and having to move inventory around, and going out of stock.

Bring fulfillment in-house

You can bring fulfillment in-house to your network with your own equipment, warehouses, processes, staff, and shipping carriers. In-house fulfillment gives you the most control over your shipping, including the carriers, packaging, and manpower.

However, this also makes you responsible for meeting 2-day and next-day delivery speeds, which can be challenging for a new multi-channel seller without an expansive warehouse network.

Outsource fulfillment

You can outsource fulfillment to a multi-channel 3PL to get standardized fast shipping across your channels. Outsourced fulfillment gives you access to reliable, fast shipping speeds for your marketplace and D2C stores.

Tip: Calculate your fulfillment costs before committing.

2. Store inventory close to demand

Distribute your SKUs strategically based on historic demand. The closer your items are to your buyers, the more quickly (and affordably) you can deliver them.

This gives you more time to deliver orders within the promised timeframe while allowing you to use more cost-effective shipping methods, such as ground shipping rather than air.

To distribute inventory closer to end customers:

  • Use a network of warehouses across the country to store inventory. These can be your warehouses, hired warehouse space, or those of a fulfillment network.
  • Distribute stock across these warehouses based on demand. For example, Deliverr uses machine learning to place merchant SKUs across their network.

3. Use real-time inventory positioning

Promising fast 2-day and next day deliveries is one of the best ways to delight customers and get shoppers through checkout. It elevates you from a standard online shipping experience, and puts your store on par with the speed of retail shopping.

However, you should never overpromise and underdeliver — customers won’t return after a bad delivery experience.

By using real-time inventory tracking, you can show your customers exactly where their items are and when to expect them. Many fulfillment providers support tracking codes, helping you accurately estimate shipping speeds for customers based on their zip codes.

Pregmate fast shipping using real time inventory tracking

4. Tie shipping into your loyalty program

One of the biggest concerns about offering fast shipping is the added operational costs. Even though fast shipping brings many financial benefits, it can be a difficult cost for sellers to fund in advance.

However, a loyalty program can help. By linking free, fast shipping to your tiered loyalty benefits, you incentivize repeat purchases that fund your ability to offer fast shipping. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Wrapping it up

You already know you need to offer fast shipping to stay competitive and relevant. No matter what size your store is, what channels you’re on, and what categories you sell in, you can offer 2-day and next day delivery by optimizing your operations or outsourcing to a fulfillment partner. It’s time to start delighting your buyers.

This is a guest post from Rachel Go, senior content marketing manager at Deliverr. Flexport (formerly Deliverr) provides fast and affordable fulfillment for your Shopify, Walmart, Amazon, eBay, Wish, and BigCommerce stores, helping to boost sales through programs like 2-day delivery for Shopify, Walmart 2-day delivery, eBay Fast ‘N Free, and Wish 2-day.