Assume your e-business delivered packages to residential customers a day or two faster than your competitors. Now assume this speedier, reliable delivery service didn't cost your company a penny more than what your competition pays for their slower, less reliable delivery. Would you consider this a key differentiator that will help your e-business grow? If you answered yes, you have a pulse. Read on while I reveal a significant and lesser-known shipping industry fact that just might help your e-company annihilate the competition.

    In the world of e-commerce, vast product selection, simple return policy and free shipping became the expected norm practically overnight, but in the rapidly evolving world of e-commerce, today's paradigm got a bit more challenging; you must offer all three of these benefits and in addition, if you don't get orders delivered in a day or two, consumers will quickly find another company that will. Merchants facing competitive pressures from demanding consumers and behemoths such as Wal-Mart and Amazon.com must now provide these three key benefits AND one or two day delivery, or face extinction. How can your company accomplish all of these goals simply and without absorbing the increased cost of premium shipping services? The answer may surprise you: get FedEx.

    It's always been commonly thought that shippers should use UPS for Ground shipping and FedEx for overnight shipping, right? But what many people don't realize is that FedEx Ground arrives faster than UPS Ground to over 26.8% of US destinations. During the past three years, FedEx has invested heavily in major operational improvements that resulted in accelerated delivery in tens of thousands of shipping lanes representing more than half of the city-to-city lanes they serve. This investment saves shippers money and helps make their customers more competitive. Squeezing out an extra day or two delivery time without increasing cost is tantamount to increased customer satisfaction, repeat orders, fewer dropouts, happier consumers and higher revenue.

    See it for yourself: visit the following links depicting the differences between UPS & FedEx delivery objectives.

    FedEx:

    http://www.fedex.com/grd/maps/ShowMapEntry.do?cc=US&language=en

    UPS:

    http://www.ups.com/maps?loc=en_US&srch_pos=1&srch_phr=ground+transit

    There are other factors that make FedEx a great choice especially for e-commerce companies, including the big Kahuna, the Queen Mother of residential parcel delivery differentiators; the one that will have consumers (as Ralphie of A Christmas Story would say) "plunged into a cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice". . . that is, Saturday home delivery with no extra fees. Saturday is a standard delivery day for FedEx Home Delivery, while with UPS, Saturday Ground home delivery isn't even an option. This is a fact that confounds even the most knowledgeable logistics industry professionals.

    Visit the UPS Saturday Delivery web site (http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/shipping/time/service/value_added/sat_delivery.html) and read: "Saturday Delivery from UPS allows you to stretch your business week even further. Like your busy schedules, our services don't stop for the weekend." While that may be true for Air services, UPS will NOT deliver Ground packages on Saturdays, arguably the single most convenient time to deliver to consumers. If your business is shipping with UPS and delivering to residential customers on Saturdays, you're paying a premium that may be putting your company at a competitive disadvantage.
    FedEx Home Delivery also offers some great choices that allow consumers to customize their home deliveries. For example with FedEx Date Certain Home Delivery, consumers can specify the delivery day they want their shipments to arrive ranging from Tuesday through Saturday.

    There is a one tradeoff that you should be aware of: FedEx Home Delivery does not deliver on Mondays. This is where UPS has an advantage. However, using the words of Elvis Costello: most people hate Mondays anyway. So when you absolutely positively need the fastest home delivery at the best price combined with Saturday home delivery with no extra fees, the choice seems clear. Get FedEx, and watch your e-commerce business grow!

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