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My wife has pointed out more than once that despite my protestations on Christmas morning, it is not the merchants fault if a gift arrives late, it is my fault for waiting too long to order.

If your last shipping day for Christmas is a day earlier than your competitor then he will get the order.  Sure it might not get to the customer on time, but the fact remains that the lost sales add up.  Merchants have to rely on shipping departments and shipping companies who are struggling with volume and everyone wants free standard shipping.  Merchants are caught between over promising and quite literally, under delivering.

Here are a few  Holiday Shipping Tips.

  1. Post your shipping deadlines on your site early.  This will create a sense of urgency for current browsers and can shift some of your sales earlier.  Use some of your homepage and other on page ad spots to make sure your customers notice them.

  2. Be firm but not too firm.  One merchant listed both a last day and a "total miracle" date to appeal to hopeful shoppers with a sense of humour.   Another had an Orange and a Red alert day.

  3. Send them in an email.  A friendly reminder or reminders will be appreciated by your customers

  4. Remind your shoppers of the deadlines in order confirmation messages and update the message once the deadline has passed.

  5. Update your abandoned cart messages with your shipping deadlines

Most customers just want communication and to know that you are trying hard.  If your shipping department is falling behind because of order volume, update all your notifications and send another email.

Dates below are cheapest to most expensive method

Canada Post 2015 Holiday Shipping Deadlines:

Within Canada: Dec 11, Dec 22, Dec 23

US: Dec 9, Dec 16, Dec 22

International: October 27th, Dec 1, Dec 10, Dec 17

USPS 2015 Holiday Shipping Deadlines:

Within the US: Dec 15, 19, 21, 23

Canada: Dec 8, Dec 11, Dec 17, Dec 22

International: Dec 8, Dec 11, Dec 15, Dec 23

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