As large e-Commerce businesses and platforms expand and improve their shipping options, consumers are growing accustomed to these new standards. This puts a lot of pressure on smaller e-Commerce brands to try to match their offerings to stay competitive. Competition, to some extent, is in the nature of business and to be expected. However, when SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) are forced to compete with the likes of Amazon or Walmart, it can become a real problem for many business owners to keep up. Finding a solution that's both effective and affordable is the key to staying relevant. That's where USPS weekend delivery can help.
There are many benefits to choosing USPS over the competition, so we'll start with the advantages they can provide that other carriers can't match. Next, we'll also break down the exact differences from one option to another. We'll also discuss different ways to implement USPS weekend delivery. Finally, we'll explain exactly how we can help.
Again, every business has different needs and goals. Giving a blanket yes or no answer to this question would completely ignore that. Foundational business principles, differentiating features, and core values vary wildly, even between direct competitors. They also often deeply affect a business's priorities and decisions. So, oversimplifying would be very unhelpful. Let's approach it with more nuance and provide a more complex answer that gets to the heart of more than one issue.
Small and growing businesses on a budget, especially those dealing with mostly or exclusively small packages, will usually find that USPS is their best and most cost-effective option.
If you do a lot of international shipping, have enough volume to negotiate better rates, ship very large (e.g., home goods like furniture or large appliances) or perishable items, or need to ship any kind of alcohol, either to businesses or consumers, it's worth checking with FedEx to see if they can beat USPS's rates.
Businesses with large shipments that can't get a good enough FedEx volume discount should investigate UPS. Also, e-Commerce businesses that need the option of next-day delivery and those who ship alcohol to businesses or other non-consumer locations might find that UPS is a better fit for them.
As you can see, there are many different factors that will contribute to which option is best for your business specifically. If you have a wide variety of package sizes, very small packages but do need to ship alcohol, or any other set of needs that don't all fall under the same ideal carrier, you'll need to compare and see who comes out on top. That being said, there are some additional, often unique benefits that USPS brings to the table.
Since the United States Postal Service (originally called the Post Office Department) was established before the United States of America officially was—back in 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General—they've been around pretty much forever and grew with the nation. They're the only carrier with the ability to deliver to every address across the country.
Having the infrastructure to easily deliver to every residence and business nationwide isn't easy. Many addresses are extremely remote or difficult to get to. That's why even the other providers often contract out their last-mile delivery to them. They also have the unique ability to deliver to P.O. boxes as well as specialized extensions of the post office like:
UPS has Saturday pickup and delivery services, and FedEx will pick up and deliver seven days a week. But USPS has the widest reach by far and the most dependable structure. They often prove to be the fastest and cheapest option, especially with USPS Priority Mail®.
In contrast, UPS reserves Saturday deliveries for non-rural areas. Even in the bigger cities, they still only cover around 85% of those areas.
USPS weekend delivery does have a catch or two. For example, Saturday delivery isn't available across the board. Only some services have it. For Sunday delivery, there's only one option. But it isn't available for all markets, and an additional fee is charged. However, we think they still come out on top despite these factors.
Let's go over all the USPS weekend delivery service options to better understand the limitations of each.
Since this list only covers services with USPS weekend delivery, some options and specific aspects of each service won't be mentioned. We'll cover the most pertinent details and include the links to the relevant USPS pages to make it easy to find out more.
Priority Mail Express® is the fastest way to ship with USPS. Delivery is usually one or two days. You can request overnight delivery for most residential or commercial destinations, and they guarantee it or you get a full refund. It's also the only available option that allows for delivery any day of the week, including Sunday (for an additional fee). This service operates on almost all of the 365 days each year, with very few exceptions.
The middle-ground option and most used service they offer is Priority Mail®. Not only does it come with free Saturday-only USPS weekend delivery, but it has flat rate shipping options for ease and convenience and available tracking data. Also, they'll insure most packages for up to $50. They'll pick them up for free, and they'll be delivered within three days or less.
You can send packages that don't need to be mailed first-class via Retail Ground®. This cost-effective option arrives between two and eight days later and comes with Saturday-only USPS weekend delivery and tracking.
First-Class Mail® is the option with the best value when sending envelopes or small, lightweight packages no more than 13oz. They're delivered within three days, including Saturday-only USPS weekend delivery. Merchandise is eligible for insurance for up to $5,000, and you can have them certified if you need delivery confirmation.
Depending on which service you choose, the pricing can include flat-rate pricing options, factors like weight, size, and location, and any additional fees. A full pricing list is available as a chart to give you an idea of what you'll pay for each choice.
Saturday delivery is completely free on all the options where it's available. However, if you want Sunday delivery, it's exclusively available for Priority Mail Express®, and it will add a fee of $12.50. The same rules apply to holiday delivery as they do to the Sunday USPS weekend delivery.
Many customers have an expectation of fast and free shipping on everything. That can frequently be too much for small e-Commerce stores to manage. If you can't offer free two-day shipping on everything, there are ways to offer options that are appealing but won't break the bank.
While Priority Mail Express® is cheaper than the alternatives, it could still raise your costs quite a bit. You have a few different methods available to help you cover the price, though. First, you could always set a minimum threshold for free shipping that customers have to meet, or else they pay for shipping.
You can also have Priority Mail Express® and/or Sunday delivery appear as options for customers who don't want to wait. All of these options can be tested on a segment of your customers to see if they're the right fit before going all in.
At Eniture, we understand that every business is unique. All companies may have shipping struggles they have to deal with. However, what those struggles are and their ideal solution will be completely different for each business. Recommending a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter strategy wouldn't be useful for most e-Commerce stores.
That's why we created FreightDesk Online, a shipping platform with unprecedented flexibility and customization options. You can choose what to automate, which carriers to use, what plugins to add, and how to mix and match our add-ons. Our compatible Eniture apps bring the functionality and options to the next level, putting more power in your hands.
If nothing there seems right, we also offer custom programming services so you can create exactly what you want. All your shipping carriers and data will be centralized. You can automate and streamline the process to be nearly point-and-click capable, and everything works how your business needs it to be.
To learn more, ask questions, or get started, contact us any time, and we'll help you with whatever you need.
Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. Please contact us if you need help growing your online business or implementing the concepts presented in this blog post.
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