3 Ways to Communicate Shipping Delays to Your Customers

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As an eCommerce business, it can be tricky to communicate during peak season. Challenges like shipping delays can make or break the customer’s buying experience. By communicating those challenges beforehand, a business can have the upper hand in controlling the shopping narrative. There are different ways for you to communicate shipping delays with your customers. The trick is to find the right communication method for your shoppers. 

Email communication

Businesses have used email marketing for years. Take advantage of the consumer base you already have to relay any updates your online business might have. 

email on laptop

Before purchase 

You might think to only have a delayed shipping email sent out after the purchase has been made. However, you have the opportunity to communicate shipping delays ahead of time. Preparing customers for potential delays and explaining what you’re doing to mitigate these issues is necessary to properly navigate this peak holiday season. Pre-purchase emails can be quarterly newsletters that give the customer an update about the company. Or, it can communicate shipping delays in upcoming holiday email ad campaigns. 

Order confirmation

ECommerce businesses utilize order confirmation emails to communicate recent purchases with customers. However, it can be a great way to inform customers of any delays that might occur. By setting the proper expectations of delays or other challenges your business may face, you can help your customer feel at ease and informed after making their purchase.

Order update emails

As shipping details change, email updates on recent orders can bring comfort to customers as they wait for their items to arrive. Offering updates as they occur, whether things are on-time or stuck in transit, is vital for customers during this year’s peak season. It’s essential for businesses to update their customers during the shipping/delivery process. Updates can help build and maintain a great relationship between the business and its customer. 

Customize your website

Your eCommerce website can be a great method to communicate shipping delays your business might be facing. In most cases, it can be updated in real-time to push any messaging that the customer needs to know. With the different communication opportunities your website might have, you may ask yourself “where do I start?” 

online shopping


Website banners are an easy way to keep your customers informed. Banners have the ability to be popups that grace your site’s homepage once the customers click on your URL. Or, banners can stay just above your business’ menu bar as they navigate through your eCommerce site. Either option gives your informational message the exposure it needs to inform your customer of any delays you might be experiencing. 

Checkout messaging

Another location that can be perfect for delay messages is the checkout page. As your customer navigates to their cart, you have the opportunity to communicate any shipping delays that you’re facing during peak season. A great place to inform customers within their chart is at checkout. As they decide on a shipping option, you can place a message of potential delays. With this method, you might consider providing an exact delivery estimate to provide the customer a little peace of mind. By relaying vital information at the beginning of the buying experience, you, as a business, are able to take control of the buying narrative. Now, your consumer can be made aware pre-purchase of any delays they might experience.

Utilize SMS

With 3.8 billion people owning smartphones, SMS can be a quick and efficient way to inform a customer of their order status. With a 98% open rate, SMS is a great way to communicate shipping delays. It can also complement any email communications you might have with your customers. Allowing you to get your message across to a larger audience. However, you need to figure out when it’s the best moment for your business to send out a text to your customers. SMS can be fixed where the customer only receives texts for purchase and shipping conformations. Or, it can be dynamic to give people an immediate update when their specific order is impacted.

checking phone notifications

Having a Fulfillment Partner

Working with a 3PL provider, like Red Stag Fulfillment, can allow your business to get up-to-date information on any of your recent orders.  It’s essential to stay up-to-date, and we can help you access the most accurate information as you start to craft your messaging. 

RSF has many eCommerce integrations to help your orders flow smoothly

As we enter the holiday season, it is necessary to maintain communication with your customers. Whether you choose only email as your method to informing your customers of delays or utilizing all three methods, we want to make sure you’re prepared and keeping your customers happy during this peak season. 

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Red Stag Fulfillment is a 3PL founded by ecommerce operators, and built for scaling businesses.

A team of fulfillment fanatics who care about our clients’ businesses like their own. We see things from our customers’ perspective, and have the guarantees to prove it.

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