We are just getting started with an Online Store. We ship perishable products, specifically meat and dairy. We have an account with UPS and I've integrated it into our storefront to show shipping options. It's not live yet, I've made it a private page and am testing it on myself. So when I choose shipping options, there are two questions I have:
1) The Shipping Options only say the cost, it doesn't say what day it should arrive. Is that a viewable option for the public?
2) Which leads me to my next question: We want our packages to arrive next day if possible, no more than two days because of the perishability. I want Ground Shipping to be an option, for those who do live near enough to us in Iowa that it will be next day. But I don't want someone in California to be able to choose Ground (even though it's cheapest) because it may not arrive for 5 days. Is there a workable way around this other than advising the customer to choose a Next Day option?
1) Showing arrival dates is not an option. What you can do is on a FAQ page or on each product page note an estimated time-frame so you can set expectations. Including mentioning #2...
2) Shipping formulas of that complexity are not doable on GoCentral. Even on another platform, like WordPress, where you could set this up, it can get pretty complicated as you would literally have to setup formulas based on zip codes for the system to filter and offer options based on product(s) ordered and location.
What you mention, having a clear and obvious statement on the products that this applies to being perishable and that Next Day is required for everyone outside of your designated area would be wise. I would also include info about your process/policies in regard to perishables with a more detailed explanation, in a FAQ and consider having a page dedicated to "Shipping and Perishables."
In my experience, as long as you are upfront and the information is easily found, placed and can't be missed customers will understand.