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How to Manage Last-Minute Customer Expectations

It’s the last-minute holiday rush. You have waaaay too much to do. Selling, invoicing, emailing, packing, shipping, and SO MUCH MORE. You’re stressed and that’s completely understandable. And so are your buyers. They’re worried about whether they’ll get their orders on time. So, on top of all you’re already doing, you also have to manage customer expectations and anxieties. How do you even do that when you’re stressed yourself?


Stop. Take a deep breath. Don’t worry. Handling last-minute shopper expectations is as easy as being clear, concise, and considerate with your communication. Right here, you’ll find 6 quick tips on how you can do just that. The result? Satisfied and stress-free customers. Oh, and way less stress for you!

6 Quick Tips on How to Manage Last-minute Holiday Shopper Expectations

1. Make "order by" dates visible across your website homepage and product pages

Your "order by" date is the last date where shoppers can buy your products and get them in time for Christmas. So make sure it’s visible across your website.

Put your cut-off date on the front page of your website. This way, it’s the first thing last-minute buyers see. As well as your homepage, make sure your order by date on your product pages. This adds an additional reminder to shoppers to order ASAP.

As a result, you’re able to deal with customer expectations by clearly communicating when they have to order by to get their package in time for the Holidays.

2. Use social media to communicate holiday order deadlines - pin posts and post regular updates

Make use of your social media to keep shoppers posted on deadlines and update them with any changes to shipping services.

Pin a post about your order by date so it appears at the top of the page. Then, buyers on your social media pages can easily see by which date they need to get their orders in.

You can also use your pages to countdown to your order cut-off point and post regular updates. Not only is this helpful for handling shoppers' expectations, but it also creates a sense of urgency.

If there are any changes to shipping deadlines or services, use your social media to update buyers ASAP. This allows them to adjust their plans as quickly as they can. They’ll also hugely appreciate you being so proactive.

3. Send emails to remind customers about cut-off dates and update them on shipping changes or delays

When it comes to managing customer expectations, it’s best to over communicate. So, as well as using your website and social media, keep your buyers updated with regular emails.

Send reminders about your order by date. Yes, this is courteous. But it also furthers that sense of urgency and encourages shoppers to get their orders in.

Drop your loyal customers an email informing them of any last-minute changes to shipping deadlines. And use your emails to tell them of any potential delays.

Here’s a quick way to email your customers in the last-minute holiday rush 👉: The email marketing tool offers a simple way to keep all your loyal customers in the loop. You can create templates, set up automated emails, and personalize your emails with ease. No need to be a tech genius. It’s a time saver and a life saver!

4. Provide customers with order tracking and order updates

When you order a package, you want updates, and you want to be able to track your order. Why should your customers be any different?

So, provide your customers with a way to track their order. And provide them with updates on the orders status. Be sure to tell them how they can track their order in confirmation emails. This is pretty much the number 1 way of dealing with a buyer's anxiety about their order.

This is super cool 👉 : automatically sends detailed tracking emails to your buyers. This way, they have a clear picture of their order’s journey. So your customers can have peace of mind and you can do less work! The mobile app also gives you an on-the-go overview of all your shipments in one place. Plus, your buyers can use the app to track their packages and receive real-time updates. Shipping transparency for the win!

5. Communicate Potential Delays and Actual Delays ASAP!

Since COVID, carrier delays have become more common. The later your customers order, the more likely they are to experience delays.

Tell your buyers that if they order sooner, they have a higher chance of getting their package on time. This could result in less last-minute shoppers and less potential delays. It’ll also be less stressful for you if they order earlier.

Communicate that there may be delays to late customers. And if there are definitely going to be delays, inform your buyers right away.

Then, keep them updated about the progress of their order. Even if their order is going to be late, they will appreciate that you did everything you could to reassure them.

6. Above all else - show compassion and make your customers feel heard

Compassion is tough when you’re tired and overwhelmed. But making your customers feel heard and valued is super important to dealing with their expectations.

Let your buyers know that you appreciate their feedback and patience. Tell them you understand it’s a stressful time for them.

And when issues arrive, try your best to listen and be proactive. Shoppers may not show it in a time of high stress, but they’ll be super grateful for all your efforts.

Here’s an example 👉 : Say a customer wanted one of your awesome products for Christmas. But now, they’re not going to get it because of shipping delays. That sucks. However, it’s an opportunity for you to place value on your customer. You could show them that you understand their frustration. Then, you could offer them a promo or coupon for future purchase. That’s called turning a loss into a win. 🤩

Summary - Transparent and On-going Communication is Key to Making Customers Feel Valued and Handling Their Anxieties

It’s a stressful time. But you can do it! Clear, transparent, and on-going communication is vital to managing customer expectations. And even though it’s hard when you’re so tired and you’ve got a million things to do - compassion and kindness is key.

So keep your customers up to date with any shipping changes or delays. Then, when issues arise, show buyers that you hear and understand them. They’ll see and appreciate your effort - even if they don’t tell you at the time.

Plus, if you give them a great experience when they’re stressed, they’re way more likely to remember that and become a repeat customer!

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