December 9th, 2021 | 3 MIN READ

Tips for Showing Holiday Shipping Cut-Off Dates & Offers

Written by Elastic Path Team

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Holiday shopping season is well off and running and before you know it, you'll need to calm the "will it get there on time?" fears of last-minute shoppers. Great online stores address this anxiety by making holiday shipping cutoff dates easy to find on home pages and product pages. Let's look at some examples and tips: Ulta provides a guide for addressing holiday shipping including package delivery times. Straightforward, uncluttered, and easy to find on their site:

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Similar to Ulta’s guide, Harry & David provides a clear call to action (CTA) linking to specific holiday gifts and an offer:

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American Eagle dedicates homepage banner space with a CTA to ensure timely delivery by the 24th:

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In a season rife with supply chain issues and a national labor shortage, some retailers are pushing gift cards and curbside pickup to assuage shipping anxiety. Curbside pickup service remains steady since the pandemic began, while other shopping behaviors have waned.

Studies show curbside pickup, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later), and BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) saw dramatic increase this year, with curbside up 190% in North America alone.

Following holiday shopping behavior trends, top retailers encourage curbside pickup, in-store pickup, and third-party delivery options. Adding to the convenience factor, e-gift cards are promoted as an alternative since shipping is a non-issue, and it provides more flexibility to the receiver to pick out the perfect gift at their leisure.

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This retailer clearly states the terms of the “Christmas Delivery Guarantee.” Great use of the word deadline to convey urgency and the chatbot feature on the bottom right for shoppers who have questions in real-time.

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For those choosing to ship with USPS, they’ve put together resources under the Quick Tools tab to provide clear guidance on dates and services they offer, including at-home shipping labels and package pickup. Additional kudos for including gift-giving holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.

 

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Best Buy offers their own Holiday FAQ linked from their homepage to address shipping and returns, and how to stay safe while shopping amid continued pandemic precautions:

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Another winner with Old Navy’s prominent, eye-catching holiday homepage messaging including a CTA to download their dedicated app for the best shopping experience:

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Target calls out their holiday price match offer, along with a link to a Holiday Best deals guide (smart copywriting!)

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For those selling handmade goods this holiday season, Etsy provides a comprehensive how-to playbook for managing orders and shipping:

 

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Shipping Cutoff Tips:

  1. Use clear wording like "Shipping Deadlines," "Shipping Cutoff" or "Order By December ___" rather than just "Shipping Details" or "Shipping Info."
  2. Make sure the information is easy to find on the home page and product pages.
  3. Include where you ship on your detail page. If different states or countries have different cutoff dates, make this clear.
  4. Clearly state any restrictions.
  5. If different products have different shipping times, make sure to make that clear.
  6. Include all shipping options: standard, expedited, and express.
  7. Remember that Christmas is not the only holiday of the season.

 

Bonus:

  1. Offer a guarantee on your schedule. If the order arrives late, issue an e-coupon or gift card, and pay for shipping.
  2. Show holiday return policies on home page.
  3. Remind last-minute shoppers about electronic gift card options. Check out a complete list of shipping cut off dates (domestic and international) for major carriers.

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