As I write this on the 17th December, the Christmas spirit is amongst us and the rush is on to get those last presents. Typically bricks and mortar retailers say their busiest day of the year is the 23rd or 24th of December but for online retailers the peak is much earlier as people need to ensure enough time for delivery. The savvier online retailers know that they can use delivery dates to boost sales by reassuring customers delivery will be made in time.
A quick cross section of small to medium online retailers shows that they are losing themselves business by not considering the impact of displaying delivery dates on their products. We always advise our clients to deal upfront with “pain points” upfront, the pain points are the things that might put people off from buying. Typically these include delivery costs, delivery time and product quality. The biggest pain point for those shopping online at this time of year is whether if they purchase the product now, it will be there in time for Christmas. Online retailers not addressing this point are costing themselves a high proportion of business in December. Retailers need to be constantly telling their customers that the dates for delivery in time for Christmas are fast approaching through social media and through good ecommerce email marketing as a great way to remind people to make their purchases in time.
As you’d expect from the biggest online retailer, Amazon are very good at dealing with the issue of delivery date and what you’d need to do in order to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas day. This example shows when you can expect the item to be delivered with the different types of delivery. This helps give customers the extra incentive to make the purchase then and then to get the product as soon as possible.
On the other end of the scale, I want to buy one of the super cool wallets from Suprgood. After adding the product to the cart, I was informed that the price “excludes tax and shipping” leaving me to guess what delivery costs and dates would be. Ideally it would recognise that I’m in the UK and give me information of maximum delivery cost to the UK, along with an estimated delivery date. I went through and found out that delivery only cost around £2 which is not exactly an impediment to purchase. Not displaying this information upfront could lead to me believe it would be much higher and quit the site without making the purchase.
A frequent hesitation for smaller companies promising delivery dates is that they are at the mercy of their delivery companies, and any missed promises usually reflect worse on the retailer than the courier company. However, a sensible buffer period and professionally written delivery information should be enough to mean they can provide the key information that their customers want to know in order to make a purchase from them and help them use delivery dates to boost sales.