How to Display a WooCommerce Delivery Date (Including Holidays)
If you’re running an eCommerce store, your shoppers will want to know exactly when they can expect their orders to arrive. Big stores like Amazon and Walmart display prominent delivery dates on their product pages and, with a WooCommerce delivery date plugin, you can bring that same clarity to your WooCommerce store. Beyond letting shoppers know when to expect their orders, you can also display timely notices, like the last day for Christmas delivery.
A survey from UPS found that anywhere from 12-28% of consumers would abandon their shopping carts because there was no estimated delivery date, depending on where consumers were located, so this is definitely one feature that can prevent cart abandonment and benefit your store’s bottom line.
Beyond generally informing your customers, displaying a WooCommerce delivery date is also especially important around the holidays; like displaying the last day for Christmas delivery during the holiday buying season.
In this post, you’ll learn some tips for calculating WooCommerce delivery times, as well as how to add customizable WooCommerce delivery date information to your store using the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin.
You’ll be able to set global delivery times for your entire store, as well as manually override that default to set custom delivery timeframes for individual products.
The importance of delivery dates and how to calculate them
As we explored above, displaying a WooCommerce delivery date is important because your shoppers want to know when they can expect to receive their items.
If shoppers aren’t sure, there’s a non-trivial chance they might just abandon their shopping carts and go buy from somewhere else that does display estimated delivery times, to be on the safe side.
UPS surveyed thousands of consumers from around the world and found that, while the exact percentage varies by region, a lack of estimated delivery date can scare away potential customers.
Here’s the percentage of consumers who would abandon their cart because there’s no estimated delivery date by region:
- Europe — 19%
- Asia — 25%
- Australia — 16%
- Mexico — 25%
- Canada — 17%
- USA — 12%
These numbers are why you’ll almost always see a delivery date on big eCommerce stores:
So what factors go into calculating a WooCommerce delivery date to share with your customers?
Consider your available shipping methods
When it comes to displaying a WooCommerce delivery date, you can control everything up until you hand the package over to your shipping courier. Then, it’s up to them to deliver.
Picking the best shipping method is always going to be a balancing act between delivery time and price.
For example, USPS offers USPS Priority Mail which offers delivery in 1-3 business days. It also offers USPS Retail Ground and Media Mail, which range from 2-8 business days.
While Media Mail offers lower prices in exchange for longer shipping times, it’s much tougher to offer a firm delivery date when the date range from your courier is 2-8 working days.
Additionally, pay special attention to shipping cut-off times and other nitty-gritty delivery details. Those can also affect your WooCommerce delivery date. For example…
- What delivery days does your shipping method support?
- What’s the number of days per week it delivers?
- Is it only available on weekdays?
- Is there a next day delivery option?
For example, Priority Mail Express offers next day delivery seven days per week, which lets you guarantee next day delivery if needed. Of course, it also comes at a cost.
If you want to more accurately calculate costs and delivery times, you can set up different WooCommerce shipping zones or use a table rate shipping plugin for more flexibility.
Be transparent with custom/handmade products that require preparation
If you already have a product in stock, it’s easy to offer same-day or next-day shipping. As long as a shopper places their order before the cut-off time slot for shipping, that is.
But if you’re offering handmade or customizable WooCommerce products, there might be a lag time between when an order comes in and when you’re able to ship your product.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to clearly communicate this lag time to customers when you display the estimated delivery date on your product page.
Keep the holidays in mind
When you’re calculating an estimated WooCommerce delivery date, it’s important to keep major holidays in mind.
Not only can holidays affect delivery schedules for your courier, but the holidays are also usually your busiest time of the year, which might mean that it takes you longer to get orders out in the first place.
Holidays can also be high stress for shoppers, which means they definitely want to know if they’ll get their orders in time. That’s why most stores display a notice for the last day for Christmas delivery.
Most shipping services will publicly display shipping dates for big holidays based on different shipping methods. For example, the USPS publicizes its Christmas shipping details well in advance, which lets you plan your store’s shipping schedule.
As for your own shipping schedule, you’ll want to consider if you’ll still be able to get orders out as quickly when the number of deliveries picks up. If you think it might take you a little longer to ship orders, you might want to add some buffer to your estimated shipping times to be safe.
How to set a WooCommerce delivery date with WooCommerce Lead Time
Whether you want to provide general delivery estimates, custom lead times for handmade products, or mark the last day for Christmas delivery, you can use WooCommerce Lead Time, which is a flexible order delivery date plugin.
It will let you display WooCommerce order delivery information without the need for custom PHP or CSS — just configure a few settings and you’re ready to go.
WooCommerce Lead Time lets you set a WooCommerce delivery date globally for all of your products or for individual products on your WordPress site.
You’ll be able to display this information right on the product page, rather than forcing shoppers to visit the checkout page or cart page to see the order delivery date.
WooCommerce Lead Time also gives you full control over exactly how your lead time message displays, which lets you customize it to match your store.
For example, if you ship your products right away, you could display something simple like “Estimated delivery date: 3 days”.
Or, if you build products from scratch, you could display when a product is ready to be shipped, like “Ready to ship in: 1 week”.
WooCommerce Lead Time also lets you target three different types of products:
- In stock products
- Out of stock products
- Backordered products
For example, you could display an estimate for when you’ll have a product in stock and ready to ship to customers.
Finally, WooCommerce Lead Time is also WPML compatible if you’re running a multilingual eCommerce store.
Below, you’ll learn how to use WooCommerce Lead Time to set a WooCommerce delivery date for a few different situations, including holiday-specific messages like the last day for Christmas delivery.
How to set a global WooCommerce delivery date for all your products
To get started, install and activate WooCommerce Lead Time. Then, go to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Lead Time to configure the plugin’s global settings.
First, you can choose the types of products for which you want to display estimated delivery times. For example, only in stock products or out of stock products.
Below that, you can choose the Lead time prefix. This is the text that will display immediately before the estimated delivery date.
You can fully customize it based on your needs. For example…
- If you offer same-day shipping and use a shipping method that guarantees delivery in 3 days, you could put something like “Order before 12 pm and get guaranteed delivery in”
- If you need time to customize a product, you could put something like “We make all products by hand. Your order will be ready to ship in”
Below that, you can enter the Global lead time, which is the default time to apply to all products. Remember, you can always customize this for individual products.
This time will display immediately after the lead time prefix that you enter above.
You don’t have to use a datepicker or follow any special date format — you can just enter the number in plain text. For example…
- 3 days
- 1 week
- 5 hours
You can also enter specific dates or date ranges, which gives you a lot of flexibility.
Finally, you can also choose the Lead time text color, which controls the color of both the lead time prefix and the lead time number itself. If you want to draw attention to the WooCommerce delivery date, you can use an eye-catching color here:
Once you save your changes, your shoppers will see the estimated WooCommerce delivery date on the front-end of your WooCommerce store:
How to set a custom delivery date for individual products
If you have some products that take longer or shorter to ship, you can also customize the estimated WooCommerce delivery date for individual products.
For example, maybe you have one product that you get from a different supplier that takes longer to ship than your other products.
To set a custom delivery date for an individual product:
- Open the Edit product interface.
- Scroll down to the Product data box.
- Go to the Inventory tab.
- Use the Lead time box to enter the custom delivery date for the product.
WooCommerce Lead Time will use the same lead time prefix that you set in the global settings. For example, if you change the lead time for a single product from “3 days” to “5 days”, you’d see that new number on the front-end of your store:
You can also change the lead time prefix for individual products by following these instructions.
How to set the last day for Christmas delivery (or other holidays)
During holidays or other busy times, you might want to tell shoppers when they need to order to get their items in time for the holiday.
For example, during the busy Christmas shopping season, many shoppers will want to know the last day for Christmas delivery so they can plan their gifts. You certainly don’t want kids to be disappointed in Santa.
To set this up, you can edit WooCommerce Lead Time’s settings to display a holiday-specific message.
Let’s go with the example of displaying the last day for Christmas delivery.
To get started, you’d open the global WooCommerce Lead Time settings.
Then, because you can enter any text in both the Lead time prefix and Global lead time boxes, you can configure a Christmas-specific message that details the last day for Christmas delivery.
For example, if you configure the plugin like this:
Then you’d get a message like this on the front-end of your store:
You’d still be able to change the delivery cut-off for individual products. For example, you could enter “Tuesday, December 16th” for products that take longer to ship:
If you run a WooCommerce store, your shoppers want to know how long it will take to receive their orders.
If they don’t see an estimated delivery date, a significant chunk of them might abandon their carts.
This is doubly true around the holidays. Your shoppers will be keen to know the last day for Christmas delivery so that they can have their gifts ready in time.
To calculate delivery times for your WooCommerce store, you’ll want to consider:
- What shipping methods are available to you, keeping in mind the balance between price and speed
- How long it takes you to ship products, as well as the cut-off time slot for shipments
- Whether holidays will affect your shipping or delivery times
Then, to display that shipping information to your shoppers, you can use the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin to display customizable delivery estimates right on the product page.
This WooCommerce plugin lets you set one global estimate for your entire store. You can then customize the estimate for individual products as needed.
You also have full control over the delivery date field, which lets you enter:
- Generic timeframes (e.g. 3 days)
- Specific dates (e.g. Thursday, December 18th)
- Date ranges (e.g. Between December 16th and December 18th)
Purchase WooCommerce Lead Time today and provide your shoppers with more accurate information for when they can expect their WooCommerce orders.