Many people have been saying for years that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is good, and it gets better with time. However, there are many people who don’t see it that way. They call the USPS “terrible”, “dangerous”, or worse, and they go so far as to accuse the USPS of being a “corporation”, a “fraud”, or worse. In reality, the USPS is nothing more than a government agency that provides mail delivery services to customers.
Flat rate shipping is not the best option for all online sellers, with considerations such as:
The USPS flat rate service delivers items within three days, which is not fast enough to qualify for expedited shipping programs like Walmart TwoDay. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of both flat rates and fast shipping programs.
For example, at Deliverr we provide a flat fulfillment rate with eligible shipping speeds for expedited shipping programs. Your customers get super-fast deliveries, while you benefit from an all-inclusive price.
Flat-rate deliveries are not always the most cost-effective option. We’ll go into that in more detail below, but you should shop around because USPS might not be the best option for your profit margins.
The USPS flat rate only covers shipping, you must perform all other fulfillment tasks. If you have an in-house fulfillment operation, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you don’t have the space or time to fulfill orders yourself, you need a flat rate fulfillment rather than just shipping.
You should also be aware that the USPS has restrictions on the products you can mail, with alcohol, explosives, airbags, and similar products all prohibited.
Is flat rate shipping right for me?
USPS flat rate delivery is a great service, but that doesn’t automatically make it the best service for your e-commerce business.
If you’re fulfilling orders in-house, and happy to be, USPS flat rate is a good option for small, heavy items that travel some distance. You can also save on post office prices by using an online postage provider to access commercial base rates.
If you’re interested in fixed pricing but can’t or don’t want to handle order fulfillment in-house, an all-inclusive order fulfillment service is a great, cost-effective alternative. You’ll have access to transparent, predictable and competitive shipping rates, while benefiting from having someone else handle the execution.
Alternatives to Flat Rate Shipping
If the flat rate doesn’t work for you, but you want to make sure your shipping costs cover the carrier’s costs, there are alternatives.
Dynamic checkouts automatically calculate shipping costs for customers when they enter their delivery address. This covers the costs of the carrier, but be aware. That it can lead to cart abandonment once customers discover the full price.
Average shipping costs
By calculating your average shipping costs, you can offer customers a flat rate of your own delivery, covering your total costs throughout the year. However, beware of excessively high shipping costs for small and light items.
After learning about the benefits of flat-rate shipping. You may assume that it’s a cost-effective shipping method for your e-commerce business. And for many, it is.
You can deliver across the United States without worrying about the weight or size of your packages, providing consistency and confidence.
However, USPS flat shipping is not always the only or best option for your e-commerce deliveries. Depending on the items you sell, where your customers live. And your order fulfillment efficiency, standard shipping services or an all-inclusive order fulfillment service may be more cost, time, and growth effective.