Every Delivery Option for eCommerce Business Explained

Almost all eCommerce businesses have one thing in common. They need to move things from one place to another. However, when it comes to deciding on the best possible ways of doing so, things can get a little complicated.

That’s because the simple task of moving products can be done in so many different ways. Start looking into recorded delivery, special delivery, express delivery and everything in between and you could be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed.

Thankfully, we’re on hand to cut through the jargon and bring you the hard facts about what different delivery options mean. So, you can decide which option is best for you and your business. And you can avoid wasting any unnecessary time thinking about it, too.

So here we go with a quick run through of the different delivery options for businesses, and what they actually mean.

What is recorded delivery?

Royal Mail’s recorded delivery is similar to standard delivery, however it enables the sender to secure a proof of posting. This can then be forwarded on to the customer, letting them know their order is on the way and giving them piece of mind.

Parcels sent this way do not require a signature when the customer receives them, but if you send something via recorded delivery you will usually be notified when the item has been delivered.

Recorded delivery is often fine for low-value items, and items which can fit through standard letterboxes. However, if you’re sending higher-value items or one-of-a-kind pieces, you might be better off choosing a delivery option which requires a signature.

What is special delivery?

Special delivery is another delivery service offered by Royal Mail. And it’s one of the best way to get your products into the hands of your customers, fast. This delivery option guarantees next day delivery either before 9am or before 1pm. There’s also an option to guarantee next day delivery on Saturdays. Items sent by special delivery require a signature, giving you proof when the item has been received, and letting you know nothing’s gone awry in the delivery process.

All parcels sent via special delivery include tracking as standard, meaning you can follow every step of the delivery process until your package reaches its destination. So, there’s no need to worry about things getting lost. Of course, a service like this is amongst the costliest delivery options, but it’s also undoubtedly the fastest and safest way to get your products where they need to be.

What is express delivery?

Express delivery is another one for those in a hurry. It’s offered by logistics company DHL. If your customers want their orders to be delivered the next day, express delivery is your answer. The delivery option is usually only available if customers order by a certain point in the day (often around 1pm). If they do so, they’ll be guaranteed their goods within a predetermined time window on the following day.

Express delivery is far quicker than standard delivery, but it is pricier too. Most businesses give customers the option of standard or express, so they can decide if they want to foot the bill to get their goods straight away. Express deliveries usually require a signature on receipt, and will often also offer tracking details to keep customers updated throughout the day.

What is signed for delivery?

There’s no room for doubt with signed for delivery. This delivery option is offered by a range of different carriers, and it means that customers will be required to provide a signature in exchange for their goods. So, you’ll know exactly when a customer received their parcel and who signed for it.

Signed for delivery is a good idea if your products are valuable; it offers that extra element of security for anything precious in the post. Whilst it’s costlier than standard delivery, parcels shipped in this way will take a similar amount of time to arrive. The only difference is that all-important signature.

What is nominated day delivery?

If your customers’ convenience is top priority, nominated day delivery is a great option to offer. The delivery service allows customers to choose from a list of possible dates to receive their goods. Customers will be able to book a delivery up to two weeks in advance, using this system.

Nominated delivery is often used when customers need to be home to receive their goods. It’s a must if you’re shipping big items such as furniture, or valuable items like tech and jewellery. Customers will need to sign for items received via nominated day delivery, but this won’t be a problem as they’ll have chosen a convenient time to stay home and wait for their goods.

What is tracked delivery?

If your business regularly sends valuable items and you want to keep your customers informed of their order’s progress throughout the shipping process, tracked delivery is ideal. This delivery option gives full visibility on the parcel’s whereabouts to you, as the sender, and this information can be easily shared with customers, too.

Tracked delivery options give the best peace of mind for both senders and customers, however they tend to be more expensive as a result. For this slightly higher price tag, you’ll be able to track your parcel from door to door, and you’ll never have to worry about it losing its way.

Tracked items require a signature when delivery is complete, proving that the parcel completed its journey successfully. This ensures that the parcel is delivered into the right hands, although it does mean couriers won’t be able to leave parcels tracked in this way in a safe place, or put them through letterboxes when customers are out.


Every one of these delivery options comes complete with its own list of pros and cons, so deciding which one to go for often isn’t as simple as picking the one that offers the fastest service. If you’re struggling to decide which delivery option to go for, why not leave it to us? Our team know the delivery options for different carriers like the back of their collective hands. It’s what we do.

Get in touch with us and we’ll take all the hassle out of arranging the right delivery options for your items. We’ll take care of all the hard work, leaving you free to sit back, relax and watch your business grow. Put the kettle on, if you like.