By Sue Chapman

Last week, we talked about planning record-breaking holiday promotions, highlighting some of the things you can do to stand out from the competition.

In today’s installment of our Get Holiday Ready blog series, we offer some guidance on how to manage customer expectations around delivery schedules. The biggest theme here? Communication.

It’s all in the Details

Include shipping details for different regions and countries, as well as different holiday deadlines on your home page (for a quick refresher, check out the list of upcoming holidays here). Displaying deadlines presents a great call to action for customers, and also reminds them that it’s not too late to shop online.

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Make the Decision Easy

Make it as easy as possible for your customers to make a purchase decision by putting delivery date options right on the product detail pages. And consider offering a delivery date calculator based on the shipping zip code. These options should also be presented on the cart page.

TIP: Don’t forget to include the time zone!


Make it a Campaign

Focus your site content, as well as scheduled emails, around cutoff dates to place an order specific to the promotions you’re running. It’s important that the message is clear and offers exact timing so you don’t miss out on the sale. And consider presenting a “Last Minute Gift” promotion on your homepage that reminds customers there’s still time to place – and receive – their holiday purchases.

Extend the Life of Your Shopping Cart

Retailers know that many of their customers may treat their online shopping carts as a holding area. This could be a problem if the life of the shopping cart you provide expires quickly. To avoid losing the sale, consider offering options like “Save to Wish List” or “Save for Later” so your customers can come back when they’re ready to buy. And if you extend the life of the shopping cart, be sure to communicate that – let your customers know how long their cart will be saved. For example, “Your cart will be saved for 10 days.”

Do All Your Shopping Here

A final idea, consider offering your customers the opportunity to enter multiple gift addresses through a single transaction. This is a great way to send out the same great gift to multiple people, and can actually encourage your customers to spend a little more. Our client Godiva does this really well — and who doesn’t love chocolate?

Stay tuned for our next tip: Testing your holiday readiness (before your customers do).

And stay up to date on our full Get Holiday Ready blog series: