Did you know that nearly half of all online shoppers abandon their carts if they can’t find a satisfactory shipping option? Often, this happens because of high shipping costs or uncertainty around delivery dates.
While Ecwid can’t reduce a carrier’s shipping fees, we can erase a second barrier by helping you give your customers a clear understanding of when they can expect their purchases.
A recently released Ecwid feature displays an Estimated Delivery Date at checkout before the purchase leaving one less reason for the shoppers to doubt.
Now Ecwid can instantly calculate the transit time from your company’s address to your customer’s location, the time you spend packaging the order, and fulfillment speed. As a result, your buyers will see estimated delivery dates for different shipping options, and be able to choose the one that works best for them. Goodbye abandoned carts. Hello successfully completed purchases.
If you ship orders via mail carriers/the postal service, displaying delivery dates will build customer trust, improve conversion, and help shoppers choose the right shipping option.
If you only offer Pickup or Local Delivery options, the Estimated Delivery Date feature won’t influence your checkout experience, as Pickup and Local Delivery lets customers choose their specific delivery date. Learn more about local delivery options.
Now let’s take a closer look.
How Estimated Delivery Date Works
The Estimated Delivery Date feature displays delivery date options at checkout before your customers complete their purchase. This is important, because shoppers don’t like uncertainty: they want to know when their purchase will arrive before they complete the order, so they can budget their time and resources accordingly
The dates that appear to your customers will depend on the shipping options you offer. If you have several options available, your customers will be able to choose the one that works best for them.
How Merchants Benefit from Delivery Dates
Displaying delivery dates can improve the trust your customers put in your brand—and increase sales accordingly!
We’ve already discussed the value of transparency and trust in our article on legal docs and how to use them. Delivery dates create many of the same benefits.
Showing your customers potential delivery dates is a way of communicating with them. By opening this dialog, your business demonstrates its reliability and commitment to consumer satisfaction. It shows that you care about customers.
According to the UX research by Baymard Institute, consumers “regard delivery dates as a promise” made by the brand. While shopping, customers decide whether to believe you or not and put their loyalty on the table as a reward. If you succeed in complying with your own standards and keeping this promise, you will win the customer’s trust.
If people trust you, they are more likely to buy from you. And if they are happy with your brand—as in, they like the product/service, they’re more likely to come back to your store for their next purchase, and even tell their friends about you. By simply being transparent, informative, and consistent with your promises, you get extra sales from repeat customers and recommendations for no extra effort or cost.
That’s how a tiny feature like Estimated Delivery Date can become a game-changer for a merchant.
How Shoppers Benefits from Estimated Delivery Date
Displaying delivery dates provides important benefits to shoppers.
They won’t be guessing
Your customers will be sure that their order is going to actually be delivered! A funny thing (only in theory, not in practice), but if you take money for a product without telling them when this product is going to arrive, the customers might feel forgotten or even cheated, wondering when their purchase will arrive and worrying that it will never come. A rough delivery date estimate will make your customers feel safer shopping at your store, and prevent any hint of stress while waiting.
Plus, consumers will feel free to organize their week without fear of missing an important delivery.
They will see the value of each option
Shipping options without delivery dates represent abstractions for your customers. By displaying approximate delivery dates, you help customers to feel the true value behind each option, and make a balanced decision on their preferred delivery date.
For example, if the customer sees that free Standard shipping for $5 will arrive in 14 days, and the Premium for $20 in 3 days, they can evaluate the pros and cons of each, and decide whether the difference in time is worth the money.
They won’t get stumped
If you offer over five shipping options, but no estimated dates, you might puzzle your customers. It’s difficult to choose from several options if the only difference is the name (i.e. “standard shipping” vs. “express shipping”)! They might be able to guess which will arrive first by the price, but this still leaves a lot of room for confusion.
Any lack of clarity during the checkout process (which is the most sensitive stage of the purchase) poses the major risk of losing a customer. Delivery date estimates help shoppers compare their shipping options clearly without confusing them right when it matters most.
It’s my grandma’s birthday!
Sometimes we buy presents for special people on special occasions. And we want those presents to be delivered on time, not two days later. Your customers feel the same way!
Offering shipping options with delivery date estimates will help your customers choose the one that guarantees they’ll be ready for their grandma’s birthday, well in advance.
Setting Up Estimated Delivery Date
The first thing and most important thing to know — Estimated Delivery Date is available for all plans.
The second thing — the feature works for all shipping methods except for local delivery and pickups. Just because these methods are usually made in a few next days, and let the customers set up the date.
When you enter the Shipping & Pickup section of your Ecwid store, you’ll find a list of shipping options. Choose any carrier to edit and see this small yet essential setting — Show estimated delivery date at checkout.
By enabling this feature, you will activate the following settings:
- Order preparation time — how long it takes to get the order ready for shipping (for you to produce, assemble, and/or pack your item).
- Days you pack orders — if your online store is a side business, and you only process orders on weekends, you’ll be able to indicate that to make delivery date estimates are precise. On the other hand, if you’re a full-time online merchant and take the weekends off, you can also let the system know to ensure accurate delivery dates.
- I pack orders received past this time on the next day (a.k.a. “order-processing cut-off time”) — you don’t have to package new orders day and night. You can mark a cut-off time for packing orders automatically, so the system knows that orders placed after a certain time will be processed the next day. This lag becomes calculated in the delivery date estimation. If the next day is your off day, the system will take this into account as well.
All these settings influence the date displayed at checkout.
By making your order processing more transparent, you can help shoppers choose the right shipping option for them, even if it’s more expensive. Knowing when to expect their purchase will save the customers from order frustration, and save you from their potential anxiety.
There’s one more important setting — Approximate transit time. It’s used to define how many days it takes to deliver the order from the carrier’s office to the customer’s location.
If you ship with USPS, UPS, FedEx, Canada Post, MDS, or Brasil Correios and use carrier-calculated automatic rates your Ecwid shop will receive transit times automatically and add them to the overall delivery calculation. You won’t even see this configuration in action.
But if you ship with another carrier, or set up the shipping options manually, you’ll have to define transit time manually. It’s easy. Just set the minimum and the maximum number of days the delivery will take. Ask your shipping company to help you with transit estimates. Consider adding an extra day to the transit time to play safe, just in case.
Still have questions? Here’s a full-fledged video tutorial on setting up carrier calculated shipping with the Estimated Delivery Date feature.
Estimated Delivery Date is an outstanding (and free!) feature that improves the shopping experience for your customers. Aside from its obvious informational purpose, it positively influences:
- Customers trust in your store
- Conversion rate at checkout
- Customer retention
This new Ecwid feature also helps customers choose the shipping option that aligns best with their lifestyle and respects their schedule. Estimated delivery dates are a good way to show your customers that you are attentive to their needs and care about their shopping success.
If you ship orders with carriers (like USPS, UPS, or FedEx) and want to deliver a next-level shipping experience to your customers, configure your shipping methods to start displaying delivery dates at checkout.
Activate the Estimated Delivery Date feature and we promise, both your customers and your store will feel the difference.
Did we mention that Delivery Date is available for all plans? Oh, yeah—we did. Well, it’s such a great feature that it bears repeating. Delivery Date is free for all plans! Check it out now!