Online sales started even earlier this year, with many stores releasing their Black Friday specials at the beginning of December. That hasn't stopped consumers from continuing to shop all month long though. In fact, every day since November 1 has had over $1 billion in online sales.
To maintain customer satisfaction and keep up with shipping demands, retailers have pushed back their order cutoff dates. In order to guarantee shipping before Christmas day, consumers must complete their online orders by December 19 for most retailers. Some may extend that deadline as late as the 22, but the majority are staying as safe as possible.
Setting a Christmas shipping cutoff date serves several purposes. It creates clear expectations for consumers so they are not disappointed if their order arrives late. It also encourages shoppers to order products well before the cutoff date, which helps warehouses and shipping companies keep up with the demand. There will still be a surge of last minute orders no matter what, but that surge is less severe when people realize a deadline is approaching.
On the other end of the spectrum, cutoff dates tell shipping companies, warehouses and order fulfillment providers exactly when they have to complete certain orders. Any order that comes in before the cutoff time must be out of the warehouse and on the truck for delivery in time for Christmas Day. If the warehouse is able to fulfill other orders after that with Christmas shipping, great! If not though, they at least need to uphold the expectations before the cutoff date.
The Christmas shipping cutoff date varies from one retailer to the next. The retailer speaks to the warehouse and the shipping company to find out when the most reasonable cutoff time is, and then they use their best judgment to set an official time on their website. Some retailers will include a big message on the front page of their website about the shipping cutoff date, and others will include it on the product page. No matter what, the merchant will maintain as much transparency as possible so people know when they have to complete their orders.
Warehouses, order fulfillment providers and shipping companies have direct insight into the backend of online orders. They know how long it takes to go from "add to cart" to "delivered." Here at Overflo, we communicate with our retail clients so they can accurately relay information to their buyers. We believe in maximum transparency and consistent communication to keep customers and merchants on the same page.
This flow of communication does not stop around the holidays either. There aren't many other times of year that order cutoff dates are enforced, but warehouses still let retailers know what to expect with order fulfillment. The retailers can provide the most accurate shipping predictions possible, and customers what type of service they should receive. Whether it's in the peak of shopping season or the slowest time of the year, this information keep customers confident about their online shopping experience.
For more information about warehousing, Contact Overflo at 1-800-626-0616
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