One major concern for online shoppers at this time of year is whether they will get their orders in time for Christmas, and how late they can leave it before buying presents online.

There is also an opportunity for retailers here to drive sales by using persuasive ways to show the information like countdown clocks, or else catch some business from last minute shoppers by offering delivery later than the competition.

The final delivery dates vary between retailers; you need to order by the 17th from the Apple Store to guarantee Christmas delivery, but you can place orders with Amazon up to 8:30 am on Christmas Eve. So how are retailers communicating this to customers?

M&S

There is a clear link near the top of the homepage, which leads
customers to all the Christmas delivery information they should need:

Amazon

The notice on the top right of the screen informs customers how late they can leave it before ordering in time for Christmas with free delivery, though you have to search quite hard for Christmas info for other delivery formats:

Comet

By showing the last delivery date clearly with the calendar icon, visitors to Comet can find this information instantly, and don’t have to click on links to find out more:

Next

Other retailers, including Next, have opted for a delivery countdown which informs customers how late they can leave it, and will presumably provide an extra sense of urgency in the customer’s mind, the nearer it gets to Christmas:


Other retailers, Play.com and HMV are two examples, have not added any information about delivery to their sites; I can’t find any mention of Christmas delivery at all on HMV.com, though perhaps this information will be added later.

This US survey from Google suggests that shoppers still have 64% of their Christmas shopping left to do, and if the figure is anything like this in the UK, then etailers can expect plenty of customers looking for last minute gifts.

One of their key concerns will be whether or not their gifts will arrive in time for the big day. Far better to provide this reassurance clearly when they arrive at a website than to create doubts by not providing this info, or making them work too hard to find it.