The Importance of Reminding Shoppers of Shipping Cutoffs

Checking for mail

The holiday shopping season will be over in a few short weeks, the last-minute shopping rush has begun – that final push that finds everyone trying to snag last-minute gifts and catch up if they’re still behind. Those last days can be extremely hectic, especially for online retailers.

If you’re running an eCommerce store, it’s especially important that you have a plan in place when it comes to reminding shoppers of the final day you’ll ship their order and guarantee it’ll arrive by Christmas. Here we’ll take a closer look at the reasons why it’s important and address some of the ways you can approach the process.

Why Remind Your Customers?

The holiday season is a hectic time under even the best of circumstances. Your customers are naturally going to have a lot on their plates, especially as the final shopping days of the season get closer. By clearly displaying your holiday shipping cut-off dates, you’ll save your customers frustration at an already stressful time of year.

Making sure your customers are well aware of final shipping cut-off date is key. It allows you to:

  • Lower the likelihood of a given customer losing faith in your business because of merchandise that didn’t arrive on time.
  • Foster a sense of urgency that can convince a customer to finalize a given purchase sooner rather than later.
  • Take advantage of an additional opportunity to contact customers on your mailing list one more time before the shopping season ends.
  • Potentially attract new customers that aren’t able to get the items they want in time from other retailers.

How to Approach the Process

When it comes to making sure busy shoppers are aware enough of your shipping cut-off date, it’s best to use a combination of different approaches.

Make It Visible

Naturally, you’ll need to make sure final ship dates are posted on your website in a way your visitors can’t possibly miss. Add shipping deadlines to page your home page, product pages, category pages, checkout pages, and so forth in conspicuous ways people can’t miss.

Make It Clear

Be mindful of the language you use when wording shipping cut-off date announcements. Use definitive terms like “shipping cut-off date,” “shipping deadlines,” and “order by December ____ for guaranteed delivery.” Don’t settle for “shipping info” or “shipping details,” as such terms leave too much room for interpretation.

Make It Detailed

You’ll also want to make it easy for customers to find additional details in regards to shipping restrictions and accepted destinations. Be sure to list:

  • Any restrictions on where products can be shipped by the specified cut-off dates.
  • Any products that may be exempt from “guaranteed delivery” by shipping cut-offs dates.
  • All available shipping options including standard, expedited, and express shipping.

Make It Thorough

Keep in mind that Christmas isn’t the only holiday people might be celebrating or purchasing gifts for. Make it a point to know the dates of other major possibilities and plan accordingly. Don’t simply assume that all of your customers are buying for Christmas.

If shipping cut-off dates apply strictly to Christmas, make sure you state it specifically.

Getting the Word Out

Don’t forget to leverage email when it comes to getting the word out as well. Schedule a series of email campaigns to go out to your customers so they are aware of the last days you’ll be shipping holiday orders. Increase open rates with subject lines that make it clear there are only a certain amount of days left for a guaranteed arrival time. Supplement those efforts with timely social media posts as well.

You may also want to consider having a backup plan in place for customers that do wind up missing the cut-off date. For instance, you can offer electronic gift cards as alternatives for last-minute shoppers.

For more holiday marketing tips, visit our Holiday Marketing Workshop!