New consumer research suggests that 92% of British consumers have suffered product deliveries turning up late, with levels of consumer dissatisfaction peaking around Christmas. It’s a fact that may not come as a surprise if you’ve sat for hours on end at home waiting for that important package to arrive in the run-up to Christmas.

Late deliveries at this time of year are frequently features on the national news, highlighting the frustration and anger poor service can cause.

Even where late deliveries cant be helped, this econsultancy survey found that 27% of business were not keeping customers informed about delivery times and managing expectations.

Dealing with the extra orders you receive at Christmas is something all businesses struggle with, but with good logistic plans, there are businesses that succeed to have all orders delivered on time. The trick is to plan ahead and utilise your website to communicate with customers.

Here are things you can do to ensure your delivery schedules go to plan:

1.            Pay special attention to your courier dates (they will be out already!) and how they change over the Christmas period. When’s the last day to order for Christmas? For international customers?

As an example here are interlinks details:

Interlink Christmas Delivery Details


2.         Place a prominent message on your homepage to inform customer of delivery time-scales and Christmas delivery cut off dates. Tell your international and local customers no, way in advance when your deadlines are so they know how to order in time for the holidays. What other ways do you normally communicate with customers? Use these channels too. Post deadlines on your Facebook page, newsletters and in emails.

3.          Follow retailers like John Lewis and Amazon who stopped taking orders for Christmas earlier last year than they  otherwise would have done.

4.           Advise customers of weather issues and possible delays before they make their purchase.

5.           Customise your packaging with festive holidays themes and decorations that customers will appreciate.

And why is all of this important:

A recent survey has found that nearly 30% of customer would not shop again with a retailer that failed to deliver on time. Out of interest, it was the 16 – 34 age group who were particular sensitive to late deliveries, with the over 55s more forgiving.

Although you can’t predict or alter the Christmas conditions, by keeping customers informed about delays, ensuring they have a realistic view of delivery time-scales, and researching the time-scale your courier is promising customer expectations and satisfaction can be managed.

Tomorrow we will look at how to make sure your website is fully prepared for Christmas