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Increase Customer Confidence (and Profits) with Holiday Shipping

by C Douglass on September 2, 2009

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This coming holiday season provides a great opportunity to leverage guaranteed shipping times. Give potential customers the confidence they need to buy from your site. Without a delivery date guarantee shoppers may look elsewhere for a site that can ensure their gifts will arrive on time.

We will use Christmas as an example. Here is how to do it:

Starting around 2 or 3 weeks before the holiday add a stand-out graphic or text to your site exclaiming ‘Get it By Dec 24th‘. Be sure to link this to your updated shipping policy for details.

In your own words, your shipping policy you can describe the offer as follows:

Due to the overwhelming amount of customers who request priority processing to get gifts in time for Christmas, we are offering this new service. You’ll notice that this method has no ‘specific’ time frame (like a certain number of business days). This is because we do this figuring for you. If you have more flexibility with when you need your package delivered, then Free Shipping is a great deal. However, if you need to receive it by Christmas: ‘By December 24th’ is your answer.

How it works: When you select ‘By December 24th’ in checkout, we place your order in priority status, and ship it via a method where the carrier of our choice can guarantee it will get to you by Christmas. We do that work for you – you don’t have to count business days or figure processing times.

What happens if I don’t get my order by Christmas? We’re confident that won’t happen. So confident, that we’ll give you $10 off your next order (no minimum) if you don’t get it by December 24th.

You will want to label a shipping option in your checkout process ‘Get it By Dec 24th’ and keep the price updated to reflect the decreasing timeframe leading up to the holiday. Be careful to update it daily in the final days of your offer. You don’t want to have to overnight something on the last day if your price still reflects a longer shipping window.

What you charge is up to you. Remember, you are offering a not just a regular delivery but also a premium service. As a rule of thumb you may want to start with the cost of the shipping methods needed to deliver it on time and add your service charge on top of that.

If you try this holiday shipping solution be sure to let us know if it works for you. Also, if you have similar holiday shipping ideas please tell us about it in the comments below.

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