SMBs offering Free Shipping, but not Faster Shipping

SMBs offer Free Delivery but not Faster Delivery

Usually, two-thirds of small and medium-sized eCommerce retailers offer free shipping. However, among them, only 3% offer same-day or next-day shipping. This has been brought to light by a recently conducted survey.

According to the survey, almost one-third of respondents mentioned that they offer free shipping, and another one-third said that they do it as part of the promotion. Around twenty-nine percent respondents mentioned that they do not offer free shipping. The results that came out in the survey brought to light that the most prevalent delivery speed is around two to three days. This was what 53% of respondents mentioned, while 44% said about four to seven days delivery.

According to Gautam Kapoor, COO of ShipRocket, “As per the standards and expectations set by industry giants like Amazon, Flipkart, etc, eCommerce customers expect quick delivery and this has actually streamlined the whole logistics industry for the outgoing deliveries. At ShipRocket, we are continuously focusing on making efforts to make eCommerce shipping a profitable segment for the small and medium-sized businesses.”

In another survey, it was found out that less than one-third of customers complete a purchase if they see that they may need to pay for a return. This may seem to be a money-saving strategy, but it tends to damage that goodwill and business reputation in the long run.

While there are many more surveys related to the accuracy of delivery and efficient eCommerce activities, there is an exception that is created by eCommerce giants like Amazon. Only 36% of small and mid-level online retailers said that they notify customers when the item is shipped. 63% respondents mentioned that they provide shipping costs at checkout. Around two-thirds of SMB retailers do not provide a specific delivery date.

The online retailers not providing specific delivery dates can be contributed to these three factors:

  • Lack of technical ability to update.
  • Lack of logistic support to predict the actual delivery time.
  • Inability to realize its importance in buyer experience.


According to these SMB retailers, the cost of shipping is the biggest challenge.

The survey also found out that the customers are willing to opt for free or cheaper shipping rather than having faster delivery. With the stress of fast shipping initiatives like Saturday deliveries by FedEx or Sunday deliveries by the U.S. Postal Service, it still was found out that around 56% of SMBs don’t provide faster deliveries. This is actually because most of the customers are happy to wait for some days to receive the purchased item as a part of free shipping, instead of paying extra bucks for faster delivery.


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