Standard Shipping 101: Everything Ecommerce Retailers Need to Know

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66% of customers choose to purchase from retailers with more delivery options. Giving customers the option to choose the shipping option that best suits their needs opens you up for more sales.

But, at checkout, standard shipping is the base option that every shopper expects.

Though standard shipping is cost-effective, it is also slow. This may be off-putting to some customers who are accustomed to next-day or same-day deliveries. Customers have different motivations when it comes to their preferred delivery option which is why you must leave it up to them to pick the delivery service of their choice.

ShipBob understands how important it is for shipping to be reliable, fast, and accurate and meet customers’ expectations. And so, we cater to stores looking for the best possible ecommerce shipping options that suit both shipping time and budgetary limitations.

Read on to understand what standard shipping is, understand the shipping process and how a 3PL can help retailers delight their customers.

What is standard shipping?

Standard shipping, also known as economy, regular, or ground shipping, is one of the most popular and economical shipping options offered by shipping carriers. When shipping standard with a US-based domestic courier service, your parcels will travel via ground transport and reach the receipt in three to five business days.

Standard shipping for international shipments takes anywhere from 7 to 30 days to reach the recipient.

How does standard shipping work

Standard shipping is best suited for businesses that would like to cost-effectively dispatch small to large boxes. The shipping price varies based on parcel delivery distance, weight, size, etc.

When a customer chooses this option, you need to share a detailed shipping policy with them that talks about shipping costs and methods, delivery times, and more.

Orders being sent via standard shipping are picked, sorted, and packed by the shipping companies. They are then shipped via ground transport to reach customers in a matter of 3 to 7 business days, via road.

Note: There is no need to buy boxes of specific dimensions for standard shipping. You may use any box that fits your product to pack it.

International standard shipping takes much longer, depending on the location. Certain customs fees and taxes may also apply.

Many courier partners also offer ecommerce order tracking to ensure that you and the buyer stay updated about the parcel’s exact location until it’s delivered.

Standard shipping compared to other shipping methods

When choosing standard shipping, retailers save on shipping costs and these savings can be passed on to the customer. But, that’s not always enough. Customers tend to want more.

To ensure that you don’t lose out on sales because of shipping limitations, you need to include shipping options that will satisfy the needs of customers depending on their desired delivery speed and budget.

In this section, we’ll explore how standard shipping compares to express, ground, and international shipping.

Standard shipping vs. express shipping

Standard shipping is a slower mail service that has a transit time of three and seven business days from the time the order is dispatched. Whereas, express shipping is the faster and more expensive option.

The terms express and expedited shipping are sometimes interchangeably used. If a retailer offers both then know that express will get your orders delivered faster (sometimes the very next day or in 2 days) whereas expedited is simply an option that is faster than standard shipping.

Some shippers label expedited shipping as premium shipping, and is ideal for customers who need their purchases delivered much sooner. ShipBob offers its merchants access to affordable 2-day shipping.

Standard shipping vs. ground shipping

Standard and ground shipping are one and the same. For domestic deliveries, parcels are picked up from warehouses and dispatched to the customer through ground transport. It takes 3 to 5 business days to deliver the goods.

If customers live in a more remote part of the US, their package could take a little longer. This is where it might help to consider the services of regional parcel carriers.

Standard shipping vs. international shipping

The service-level agreement (SLA) for standard international shipping is slower and cheaper, as opposed to expedited international shipping.

Customers can expect to receive their orders within 1 to 3 weeks with standard shipping to overseas locations. And in case of customs delays, it can take up to 5 weeks. On the other hand, it will take only 1 to 6 business days with expedited shipping.

Top standard shipping carriers compared

Standard ground shipping is ideal when you want to send large quantities of ecommerce orders within the U.S. Several top carriers offer high-quality last mile delivery (and returns) with reduced postage costs.

To help you decide which options to add to your ecommerce store, here is a list of shipping carriers and their standard shipping services. Use it to compare the offerings of DHL vs USPS vs UPS vs FedEx.

CarrierServiceDelivery TimeframePriceCoverage
UPSUPS Ground1-5 business days$19.50All 50 US states and Puerto Rico
FedExFedEx Ground1-5 business days$18.91All 50 states
DHLDHL SmartMail Parcel Plus3-8 business daysInformation not availableAll 50 states
USPSUSPS Retail Ground2-8 business days$17.90Every US address, including PO boxes and military addresses

Note: These shipping rates are as of March 2022, for a package of 2.2 lbs and declared value of $100 sent from New York to California. To get rates ShipBob offers when shipping domestically, request a quote here.

There isn’t any standard price or timeframe for international standard shipping since it really depends on the distance traversed and variations in customs processes of each country.

How can ShipBob help you offer better standard shipping to your customer

If you’re looking for a way to offer a wide range of carriers, transit time, and shipping options to customers, partnering with ShipBob can help.

Apart from giving you access to standard shipping options that are reliable, fast, and accurate, ShipBob also gives you complete ecommerce logistics support.

Outsourcing fulfillment to ShipBob gives you access to free shipping supplies, order tracking features, a wide network of fully-operational fulfillment centers, and an on-demand logistics solution that integrates with your online store.

In 2018, wellness brand TB12 partnered with ShipBob. This allowed the brand to deliver to more regions in the US with Amazon-like speed and reduce fulfillment costs by 25%.

Whether you sell from your website or are part of a seller fulfilled prime or Walmart marketplace, the last thing you want to do is stress about shipping. At ShipBob, we strive to completely take logistics operations off your plate so you can focus on improving other areas of the business.

Get started with ShipBob by requesting a fulfillment quote below.

How long does standard shipping take?

Standard delivery takes 3 to 7 business days of transit time to reach the customer.

How long does it take USPS standard shipping?

Within 2- 8 business days, USPS Retail Ground gets your orders delivered to the customer’s doorstep.

How much does standard shipping cost?

The cost of standard shipping varies depending on the weight, size, and dimensions of the package, the number of packages, and the distance between the shipper and receiver. But, on average, it costs $18 for shipping within the USA.

Written By:

Meredith is a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she writes articles, eGuides, and other resources to help growing ecommerce businesses master their logistics and fulfillment.

Read all posts written by Meredith Flora