Smooth Holiday Shipping with Delivery Chart Schedules
Today, black Friday, starts the holiday shopping season in full swing. If you have an eCommerce store site, one thing to keep in mind when selling online is that the second your customer hits the submit order button, they expect the doorbell to ring with the delivery.
Get Your Orders Delivered Before Christmas
Knowing that the order will arrive BEFORE Christmas is the number one goal to keep those customers happy. This could be a different topic all together with analyzing how customers expectations for online shopping can create false hopes, but you can minimize the aggravation by posting a shipping schedule.
Every major shipping company you might use has a schedule posted for the last shipping day for a package to arrive before Christmas. You should make this your schedule, and post it some place prominently on your store. Some of these schedules are not quite as easy to find (like USPS) but they are all posted at this point.
To try and make it easier, all of the links below go to the carriers holiday shipping schedule.
- USPS - last day for First Class and Priority is December 20th
- UPS - December 21st, last day for Next Day Air packages to arrive on December 24th,
- FedEx - December 17th last day for FedEx Ground
- DHL - December 21st last day for Express
Remember the key dates for shipping at specific speeds. Priority Mail has a different close date than FedEx 2-day air, so not all dates are going to be the same.
Publish Your Own Holiday Schedule
One thing I usually do is post my own shipping schedule dates in one single table. Don't worry about the different carriers, give yourself a few days buffer between the last shipping date and your last shipping date. This will give you time to get all your current orders packaged and ready for shipping, and a few days to spare.Â Make sure you have posted that any orders that are received after this date will not be delivered before December 25th. People will inevitably order anyway in hopes that is will arrive, but when it doesn't you can have something to refer the customer to that might help ease tensions a little bit. Of course this goes for more than just your last shipping day.
Make sure you post your schedule in hours of operation for the holiday shipping season too. If you are going to close early on certain days, great, just make sure it is posted somewhere so your customer don't run off 10 emails about something you can answer when you are opened again.
Keep Your Policies Clear and Easy to Find
Something that customers don't tend to do is read a lot of details, but, you can make it a little easier to find the information they are looking for by keeping it on the front page where they can find it. Try to find the USPS shipping schedule. They posted it in their new releases, not even on the front page. Keep your policies front and center for the holiday shipping season and it will make things go a little smoother.
I also posted a recent article called, Get Ready for the Fall Holiday Shopping Season, which has some other holiday shipping tips. You can also find several good pages to read on shipping information specific to the holiday schedule on each of the shipping carriers site.
An informed customer is usually a happy one, or at least an understanding one. Don't keep them in the dark over the holiday shipping season and it will make your life easier and your company run smoother.