Learn how to display expected delivery times on product pages, and allow customers to choose a WooCommerce delivery date on the checkout.
If you’re running an eCommerce store, then shoppers want to know exactly when they can expect their orders to arrive. Big stores like Amazon and Walmart display prominent delivery dates on product pages and checkout pages. With a WooCommerce delivery date and time plugin, you can bring that same clarity to your store. 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 were no WooCommerce estimated delivery times before checkout. As a result, this can make a big difference to your bottom line.
In this article, I'm going to tell how you to set up two types of WooCommerce delivery date plugin:
- The WooCommerce Lead Time plugin lets you show estimated delivery times right on the product page, helping customers to make an informed decision.
- WooCommerce Delivery Slots plugin lets customers choose an exact delivery date and/or time on the checkout page, giving them guaranteed delivery dates.
Both plugin adds important functionality to your store, and you can use them together for best results.
Understanding the importance of delivery scheduling in WooCommerce stores
UPS surveyed thousands of consumers from around the world and found that, while the exact percentage varies by region, a lack of WooCommerce estimated delivery date can scare away potential customers.
Here’s the percentage of consumers who would abandon their cart at checkout because there’s no estimated order 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:
Benefits of setting up delivery dates in WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a powerful e-commerce platform that offers a wide range of features to help businesses optimize their online stores. While it lets you add a range of shipping methods, there's no way to show customers the expected WooCommerce delivery time. It also doesn't let customers choose a delivery date or time slot.
Setting up delivery dates for products can be beneficial for both the business and the customers. Here are some of the benefits of using WooCommerce to show an estimated delivery date:
- Improved customer experience: Displaying delivery dates to customers can help manage their expectations and avoid disappointment. It provides transparency and helps customers plan their purchases accordingly, which can lead to increased satisfaction and repeat business.
- Increased efficiency: By configuring delivery time WooCommerce rules, businesses can better manage their shipping and delivery processes. This avoids overloading their resources, and optimizes their operations for maximum efficiency.
- Competitive advantage: Offering accurate delivery dates can be a significant differentiator in a highly competitive e-commerce market. Customers are more likely to choose a store that offers transparent and reliable delivery information over one that does not.
- Reduced support queries: By providing clear estimated WooCommerce delivery date information upfront, businesses can reduce the number of customer queries. This frees up support staff to focus on more critical issues.
How to calculate delivery dates in WooCommerce
Calculating the delivery date for a WooCommerce order involves several factors. These factors can include the processing time required to fulfill an order, the shipping method selected by the customer, the shipping destination, and the availability of the product in inventory. Additionally, businesses need to consider the impact of holidays and weekends on delivery times, as these can affect WooCommerce shipping time.
So what factors go into calculating a WooCommerce order delivery date to share with customers?
1. Consider your available shipping methods
When it comes to displaying a WooCommerce delivery date, you can control everything from checkout up until you hand the package over to your shipping courier. Then, it’s up to them to deliver in the agreed number of days.
Picking the best shipping method is always going to be a balancing act between delivery time and price, depending on your number of deliveries.
Additionally, pay special attention to shipping cut-off times and other nitty-gritty delivery details. Those can also affect your WooCommerce delivery date plugin. 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, 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 weekdays.
While Media Mail offers lower prices in exchange for longer WooCommerce shipping times, it’s much tougher to offer a firm delivery date when the date range from your courier is 2-8 working days.
Similarly, Priority Mail Express offers next-day delivery seven days per week. It lets you guarantee next-day delivery if needed. Of course, this also comes at a cost.
If you want to display the estimated delivery date for a product, then you can set up different WooCommerce shipping zones. You can also use a table rate shipping plugin to charge for shipping based on factors like weight and quantity.
2. Be transparent with custom/handmade products that require preparation
If you offer custom or handmade products on your WooCommerce store, it's important to be transparent with your customers about the preparation time required before shipping. Unlike pre-made products that are ready to ship immediately, handmade or customizable products may require additional time for preparation and customization, which can impact the estimated delivery date.
To ensure that your customers are aware of this, you need to clearly communicate any lag time between when an order is placed and when it will be shipped. This can be done by displaying the estimated delivery time WooCommerce format on your product page and checkout page, and including a message that explains the preparation time required.
Using certain date formats or a date picker can also help to streamline the process and ensure that the preparation time is accurately reflected in the WooCommerce estimated delivery date. By being transparent and upfront about the preparation time required for your handmade or customizable products, you can help to manage customer expectations and avoid any confusion or disappointment.
In addition to communicating the preparation time, you can also consider offering customers the option to expedite the production process for an additional fee. This can be a great way to generate extra revenue while still providing the flexibility that customers are looking for.
3. Keep the holidays in mind
When you’re calculating an estimated WooCommerce order delivery date time slot, 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 or you have different available time slots.
Holidays can also be high-stress for shoppers, which means they definitely want to know if they’ll get their orders in time before they checkout and what the delivery days are. That’s why most stores display a notice for the last day of 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 the number of days you have to ship items.
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.
Holiday rules and how they work
Holiday rules are an important feature of WooCommerce delivery time plugins that allow you to adjust your delivery dates and times to account for holidays and other events. These rules help to ensure that your customers receive their orders on time, even when there are disruptions to the normal WooCommerce shipping time.
To set up holiday rules, you'll need to specify the dates on which your store will be closed for holidays or other events. You can then adjust the estimated delivery dates and times for orders that fall within these dates so that customers are aware of any potential delays.
For example, if your store is closed for Christmas Day, you can set up a holiday rule that adjusts the estimated delivery date for orders placed during that time. This will help to ensure that customers know that their orders may be delayed and can plan accordingly.
When setting up holiday rules, it's important to consider the impact on your shipping and delivery schedule, as well as the expectations of your customers. By communicating any potential delays or changes to your normal schedule, you can help to manage customer expectations and maintain a positive shopping experience.
Top WooCommerce delivery date and time slot plugins: A comparison
Customizing the display and options for the WooCommerce delivery date is easy with the use of plugins. As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to tell you about two plugins: Lead Time (which lets you display the WooCommerce estimated delivery date) and Delivery Slots (which lets customers choose a delivery time slot).
We'll start by learning how to display delivery dates on product pages. After that, I'll tell you how to add a delivery time picker to product pages and/or the checkout.
How to set a WooCommerce delivery date with Lead Time
WooCommerce Lead Time is everything you need to provide clear information about expected WooCommerce delivery dates.
Whether you want to provide general delivery estimates or a number of days, or show custom lead times for handmade products, this is the solution. This flexible order delivery date plugin lets you display delivery information without the need for custom PHP or CSS — just configure a few settings and you’re ready to go, with cut-off dates too.
- Either display the same delivery estimate on all products, or do it separately per product or category.
- Show a different WooCommerce delivery time message per stock status. For example, products on back order inevitably have longer delivery times, so you can display this information on the product page.
- Either show the estimated delivery date as static text (e.g. "Next day delivery") or make it dynamic. Dynamic delivery dates involve selecting the exact date when a product will next be available, and letting the Lead Time plugin calculate the remaining time and display this on your site.
- Integrates with the Delivery Slots plugin to add the handling time to the actual shipping time, and display an accurate delivery time which combines the two.
- Customize the wording and color of the delivery date message to match your store.
The goal of this plugin is to allow customers to see the expected WooCommerce delivery date right on the product page. This allows them to make an informed decision before they add a product to the cart.
For example, if you ship your products right away, you could display something simple like "Estimated delivery date: 3 weekdays".
Alternatively, if you build products from scratch, then you could display when a product is ready to be shipped, like "Ready to ship in 1 week".
Display different delivery date information per stock status
Importantly, the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin lets you enter different delivery information per stock status:
- 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. You can also create other messages for different stock statuses.
Next, I'll tell you how to use the Lead Time plugin to add a WooCommerce delivery date to product pages.
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 WooCommerce products for which you want to display estimated WooCommerce delivery times and delivery charges. For example, only in-stock products, out-of-stock products, or other product categories.
- Below that, you can choose the Lead time prefix. This is the text that will display immediately before the estimated delivery date, like delivery details.
- Below that, you can enter the Global lead time, which is the default WooCommerce delivery date message which will appear on all products. Remember, you can always customize this for individual products and categories. You don’t have to use a date picker or follow any special date format — just enter the number in plain text in the delivery settings. For example…
- 3 days
- 1 week
- 5 hours
Alternatively, select the dynamic lead time option to automatically show the date when the product will be available.
- 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 order delivery date, you can use an eye-catching color here:
Once you save your changes, your shoppers will see the estimated WooCommerce delivery date, pickup date or despatch date on the front end of your WordPress store:
Some delivery time message examples
- If you offer same-day shipping option and use a shipping method that guarantees delivery in 3 days from the current date, you could put something like “Order before 12 pm and your pick up date will be [blank] day of the week”
- If you need time to customize a product, you could put something like “We make all products by hand. Your product delivery date will be on [blank] day of the week” for your notification emails
How to set a custom delivery date for individual products
So far, we've learned how to display an estimated WooCommerce delivery date across your entire store. If the delivery times are different depending on the product, then you can enter different information or dates per category or product instead. For example, maybe your Woocommerce store has one product that you get from a different supplier that takes longer to ship than your other products.
To set a custom order 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. Alternatively, set a dynamic lead time to automatically display an exact delivery date or the time remaining.
The WooCommerce Lead Time add-on 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 WordPress 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 order delivery date 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:
How to let WooCommerce customers choose an exact delivery date and time slot
So far, we've learned how to use the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin to display delivery information on product pages.
If you'd like to go a step further then you can use it with the Delivery Slots plugin from Iconic to allow customers to select an exact delivery date and time.
This handy plugin integrates with your WooCommerce delivery methods and WooCommerce Lead Time. That way, customers can view a table of available dates and times based on their chosen delivery method. They can then reserve a date, and the delivery time will be added on to the lead time that you set for the product in the previous section of this tutorial.
The Delivery Slots plugin comes with a shortcode that you can use to allow customers to select a delivery date and time on product pages. To avoid cluttering up the product page, it's best to put the delivery date picker in a dedicated 'Delivery' tab on the product page. You can easily do this with the WooCommerce Product Tabs plugin.
Alternatively, just display the delivery time picker on the WooCommerce checkout page.
Bonus: Let customers check the delivery area on the product page
By now, you know all about how to display the WooCommerce estimated delivery time on product pages. However, we haven't talked about how customers can check that you actually deliver to their area.
The solution is to install the WooCommerce Shipping Calculator plugin. This handy zip code checker adds a shipping calculator right onto the product page. That way, customers can check they live in your delivery area and see the shipping cost before deciding whether to buy the product.
Conclusion: Add delivery dates and time slots to WooCommerce today 🚚
If you run a WooCommerce store, then shoppers want to know how long it will take to receive their orders. If they don’t see an estimated order delivery date or a date-picker, then 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.
In this article, we've learned about two fantastic plugins for selecting and displaying WooCommerce delivery times in your store:
- Use WooCommerce Lead Time plugin to show estimated delivery times directly on the product page, where customers expect to find it.
- You can also use the WooCommerce Delivery Slots plugin so that customers can choose an exact delivery date and/or time to receive their order.
Use both plugins together to give customers complete flexibility along with clear, transparent information about the expected delivery date.
To calculate delivery times for your WooCommerce store, you'll want to consider: