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Availability wording?

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  • Availability wording?

    We have the Availability: set to "Usually ships out in 2-3 days"

    This just is too confusing for the many shoppers. We definately need to briefly indicate when the product is estimated to arrive. When we say usually ships out in 2-3 days, we really mean, "usually leaves the warehouse in 2-3 days, shipping via ups ground, which then adds an additional 2-5 days shipping time to arrive at your location".

    Does anyone have a sure fire way to indicate to customers that order processing time is a a day or two, or a week, or two weeks, and then, on top of that, ground shipping time? Despite having a shipping page, that describes estimated shippiing timeframes, we still get customers ALL the time expecting products to arrive in 2-3 days, no matter where they are located. :(

    We are thinking of changing the "Availability" store language to something else, but haven't figured on the best term. All our products order processing time differs, somewhat.

  • #2

    This has continued to be an issue for us as well. I think our current wording and process has helped to drastically reduce misunderstandings, but we still get the occasional - "Where's my order?" email from a customer.

    This is what we have:

    1. Each product page shows something like this:

    "Availability: Usually ships within 5-7 business days (excluding weekends & holidays). *Please note: Total delivery time includes availability plus shipping time selected at checkout."

    2. Then we have a required checkout question that states:

    "I understand that delivery to my location is the availability time (shown on the product page) plus the shipping time (selected on the next page)"

    I think the above question has helped the most.

    3. Lastly on the shipping selection page it's worded as:

    "Standard Shipping (4-7 Days in transit)"

    Like I mentioned, we still occasionally have customers who email asking - where's my order? Since most of our products involve some type of customization/personalization - I'm thinking of adding a few words to the Availability statement to gently remind customers that the item would be custom made or personalized just for them.


    • #3
      We also have this problem, but I have come to the conclusion that this has very little to do with how I word it, or not enough explanation. The real problem is People Don't Read.

      I have on every product "Usually ships out in 2-3 business days". Then I have on our shipping page we list shipping 2-5 business days (not including processing time). We also have during the checkout process links to our shipping policies, particularly when we ask customers for their event date. We event mention that listing their event date does not mean they are going to get it by that date. And we have a check out question that they have to agree to in order to place there order that says they agree to our policies.

      And yet almost every order we receive the customer thinks they are going to receive it in 2 days regardless of the processing time or the shipping method they choose. I am actually dumbfounded by this. But yes, a CONSTANT problem for us too.Anyway, I see how we have it set up all the time at other stores and it makes perfect sense to me, so I am not really sure there is a whole lot that can be done about it.

      I honestly think the best practice would be to have the availability actually state when the customer would receive it. Example: If you order today, the item will leave our warehouse by Monday, May 10. And then a way for the customer to enter their zip code and it will tell them when they will receive it based on the shipping method they choose. However, this would be custom of scripting.
      Last edited by SarahInc; 05-05-2010, 12:42 PM.


      • #4
        Customers definitely do NOT read.

        We started accepting backorders / preorders for a very hot selling item last Wednesday (9 days ago). We put in bold lettering on items that are on backorder - and have a link to our backorder/preorder policy with estimated in stock dates. In addition, we send a follow up email the next day reminding customers that some of their items are on backorder. We now have about 1400 orders that have at least one backorder/preorder item on it.

        Our customer service rep comes in, and every morning she gets about 15-20 emails from customers all stating 'I didn't know they were on backorder' or 'it said it was in stock'. In addition, she gets about 15-20 live chats during her shift basically stating the exact same thing. It's quite a mess.

        One suggestion that we have for this is to do three things:
        A) Have a popup box reminding customers they are adding a backorder / preorder item to their cart before it transfers the items to the cart. Require the customer to hit the 'ok' button.
        B) Have the availability message show up in the cart itself.
        C) Show the availability message in the confirmation emails.

        In case you have or haven't tried it - the [availability] tag doesn't work in the cart, or in emails. As it is currently setup, you can't do options B or C. We currently have a ticket open with 3dCart to try and incorporate some of those solutions.

        In regards to your specific issue, I'm sure B and C may help. The more places customers have an opportunity to see the availability message, the better. What you can do right now is do a follow up email reminding them of the time frames.


        • #5
          We had this issue too.

          We just addressed this with a template revision in hopes of making the delivery method and timeframe more clear.

          Hope this helps our customers with shipping expectations. :)


          • #6

            You are right, customer don't take time to read.

            We've been trying to work on the same exact solutions that you've proposed. The 3D Cart folks had indicated several times that the item availability tag was to be supported on the view cart and email confirmation template in 3.2. We have delayed our migration waiting for this feature (we have it in our present software).

            Unfortunately the release today of 3.2 doesn't show the availability code block working on the view cart or email confirmation. We immediately signed up for a demo to check it out. I'm hoping I'm wrong

            I was also quoted a fee of $800 for their programming team to build the popup alert. We may need to spring for that, but without the cart and email confirmation info to back it up, it's only going to do half the job.
            Shelly Gardner-Alley