In the terms and conditions section on web sites that sell products, the terms “shipping” and “delivery” are often seen. Most customers assume the terms are interchangeable and synonymous; however, despite their similarities, there are important differences to recognize between the two. The terms have risen in popularity with the rise of e-commerce, and online shoppers assume they mean the same thing. Retailers and business owners should clearly make the differences known to customers to prevent complaints.
Customers who are excited about a short shipping timeline may be frustrated with your business if their items arrive weeks later. Making sure they understand the difference between shipping and delivery will go a long way. If you’re unsure of the specific differences, keep on reading.
What Is Shipping?
The term “shipment” or “shipping” refers to the packaging and dispatching of small items that can be sent using the local postal service. Often when shoppers place an order, there is a shipping timeline displayed. For example: “Dispatched within four business days.”
The shipping timeline represents the number of working days it will take the warehouse staff to dispatch the product from the company’s end and shipping charges may vary. It also refers to the date on which the shipment will leave the warehouse of the retailer or supplier.
What Is Delivery?
Delivery refers to the estimated date larger items are sent to the customer from the distribution centre. These items may include major appliances and furniture or products that require installation by personnel.
Delivery also refers to the date the package will arrive to the customer. Delivery charges may range depending on the distance required to get from the warehouse to the customer.
Comparison between Shipping and Delivery
To put it as simply as possible: shipping is the date the product will leave the supplier’s warehouse while delivery is the date the package will make it to the customer’s doorstep. The terms are often confusing for customers; however, you can avoid this by providing two dates: the shipping date and delivery date.
This way, customers will have a clearer understanding of what each term means and how long it will take for their product to arrive. Companies can make this process simpler by e-mailing shipping and delivery tracking information to the customer. The shipping date would let customers know the product has left the warehouse, and the delivery date would give them clarity as to when they should expect their order. Shipping was originally referred to as “dispatching” and delivery is still sometimes known as “distribution.” These previously-used terms give customers a better understanding of their meaning and the process involved.
Get Logistics and Warehouse Management Support with LSS
Lean Supply Solutions’ order fulfillment services in Toronto, ON, and Vancouver, BC, can help your warehouse management goals work better than ever before. Our third-party logistics, packaging, and supply chain management can streamline your processes for better success. We live by the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chains. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.