Have you ever ordered something online, and eagerly awaited its arrival, only to find out that it won’t be delivered for another week? Or worse, received a package way later than the expected delivery date?
When it comes to online shopping, one of the most important factors that customers consider is the expected date of delivery. Customers want to know when they can expect their purchases to arrive, and they expect online retailers to provide accurate and reliable delivery estimates.
In fact, a survey conducted by MetaPack revealed that 96% of customers consider the expected delivery date to be the most important factor in their online shopping experience.
As an eCommerce business owner, it’s essential to provide your customers with a reliable and accurate expected date of delivery. Failure to do so can result in customer frustration, negative reviews, and ultimately, a loss of business.
But how can you formulate and calculate the expected date of delivery, and what factors should you consider?
In this article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of how to formulate and calculate the expected date of delivery, so you can keep your customers happy and your business running smoothly.
Let’s get started!
What Does Expected Date of Delivery Mean in eCommerce?
In eCommerce, the phrase “Expected Date of Delivery” (EDD) is used to indicate to customers when they can expect to receive their purchased products. It is a key part of the experience of shopping online, and it is critical for ensuring that customers are happy with their purchases.
The estimated delivery date is based on a number of variables, including the processing time required by the seller, the shipping time required by the carrier, and the customer’s location. In other words, it is an estimate of when the order will be delivered to the customer’s location.
Offering a dependable and accurate EDD is crucial for eCommerce firms, as it enables customers to plan and manage their delivery expectations. In addition, it assists businesses in managing their inventory and optimizing their supply chain to ensure on-time product delivery.
Factors That Influence the Expected Date of Delivery
Processing time is the amount of time it takes for the vendor to get the order ready for shipment. It covers steps such as product selection, packaging, and labeling. Depending on the seller’s operations, such as the number of orders received, product availability, and order complexity, the processing time can vary.
The customer’s selection of a particular shipping method might have a considerable impact on the EDD. Standard ground shipping, expedited shipping, and overnight shipping are examples of available shipping options, and each has a different transit time.
Carrier Transit Time
This is the amount of time it takes for the carrier to deliver the package from the seller’s location to the buyer’s location. It is affected by distance, mode of shipping, and the service level of the carrier.
The package’s final destination can also affect the EDD. Delivery to remote locations or regions with terrible weather may need an extension of the commute time.
Distance between the seller and the buyer can affect when the shipment will arrive. Shipping to a close destination often results in a shorter delivery time than shipping to a distant destination.
Availability of Inventory
If a product is out of stock or on backorder, the processing time and, consequently, the EDD can be delayed.
High order volume during peak seasons, such as holidays or special sales events, can result in lengthier processing and shipping times.
Due to customs and other laws, the international shipment of products can take longer than domestic shipping.
Difference Between the Expected Shipping Date and Expected Delivery Date
The expected shipping date is the date when the seller will send the product to the carrier for delivery. It’s the date when the product leaves the seller’s facility or warehouse. The expected shipping date is usually estimated based on the processing time, which is the time it takes the seller to prepare the product for shipment after the order is placed.
The expected delivery date, on the other hand, is the estimated date when the product will arrive at the customer’s designated shipping address. The expected delivery date is calculated based on the shipping method selected by the customer, the carrier’s transit time, and any other factors that may affect the delivery time.
In other words, the expected shipping date is the date when the product will be shipped, and the expected delivery date is the date when the product is expected to be delivered to the customer.
How do Businesses and their Customers Benefit from Estimated Delivery Dates?
Estimated delivery dates are beneficial for both businesses and their customers in several ways:
- Managing customer expectations: Providing estimated delivery dates helps manage customer expectations and reduces the likelihood of customer complaints or frustration due to delayed delivery.
- Increased customer satisfaction: When a business can deliver products within the estimated delivery date, it can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Increased sales: Providing estimated delivery dates can help increase sales by reducing the perceived risk of online shopping, making customers more likely to purchase.
- Reduced customer service workload: Providing estimated delivery dates can reduce the number of inquiries and complaints about delivery times, allowing customer service teams to focus on other issues.
- Better inventory management: Providing estimated delivery dates can help businesses better manage their inventory levels and ensure that they have sufficient stock on hand to fulfill orders within the estimated delivery time.
- Improved logistics and operations: Providing estimated delivery dates can help businesses optimize their logistics and operations processes to ensure that products are delivered within the estimated timeframe.
The Easiest Method to Formulate and Automatically Calculate the Expected Date of Delivery
By using the ELEX EasyPost (FedEx, UPS, Canada Post & USPS) Shipping & Label Printing Plugin for WooCommerce, businesses can save time and effort in calculating estimated delivery dates manually.
The plugin integrates with major shipping carriers and provides real-time shipping rates and estimated delivery dates, allowing businesses to provide accurate and reliable delivery estimates to their customers.
Let’s go through a quick overview of how to display estimated delivery dates using the ELEX EasyPost Shipping & Label Printing Plugin.
The first step is to install the ELEX EasyPost plugin on your WooCommerce store. This plugin integrates with major shipping carriers such as FedEx, UPS, Canada Post, and USPS, allowing you to access real-time shipping rates and estimated delivery dates. Check this article for more details on how to download, install, and activate the plugin.
After installing the plugin, you’ll need to set up your carrier accounts with FedEx, UPS, Canada Post, or USPS, depending on the carriers you want to use. You can do this by entering your EasyPost account credentials in the plugin settings.
Once you’ve set up your carrier accounts, you can configure your shipping settings in the plugin. This includes setting up general settings, rates and services settings, label generation, and packaging settings.
To enable estimated delivery dates, you’ll need to go to the rates and services settings and scroll down to the Estimated Delivery Date Settings section. You can also configure the working days, cut-off time, or lead time if needed. These settings will be used to calculate the final estimated delivery date.
To learn how to set up the plugin from scratch, please refer to the product documentation.
Doing so will display the expected date of delivery on the cart and checkout pages. Check out the screenshot:
The Competitive Advantage of Offering Estimated Delivery Dates
Providing accurate and reliable estimated delivery dates can be a significant competitive advantage for eCommerce businesses.
By meeting customer expectations and delivering products within the estimated timeframe, businesses can increase customer satisfaction, build a reputation for reliability, reduce cart abandonment rates, and improve their supply chain management.
In addition, offering faster or more reliable delivery options than competitors can help increase sales and market share.
In today’s competitive eCommerce landscape, businesses that can provide accurate and reliable estimated delivery dates are better positioned to meet customer expectations and gain a competitive edge over their competitors.
In conclusion, the expected date of delivery is an essential aspect of the eCommerce experience. It helps businesses manage customer expectations, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales.
While calculating the expected date of delivery can be complex, it is essential to consider various factors such as processing time, shipping method, carrier transit time, and any other potential delays.
Businesses can also leverage technology, such as automated shipping and tracking systems, to streamline their operations and provide more accurate and reliable estimated delivery dates to customers.
Providing accurate and reliable estimated delivery dates is crucial for businesses to remain competitive in the eCommerce landscape and meet the evolving expectations of customers.
By prioritizing timely delivery and investing in effective delivery management, businesses can build customer loyalty and drive long-term growth.