Ultimate Guide to Order Estimated Delivery Date in 2024

This article will show you what an estimated delivery date is and how it can help you business in 2024.

Ultimate Guide to Order Estimated Delivery Date in 2024
Photo by bruce mars / Unsplash

An estimated delivery date(EDD) refers to the projected date on which a package or shipment is expected to arrive at its destination. It is an estimation provided by the shipping carrier or service like shipment tracking software based on various factors like the shipping method chosen, distance, and any potential delays in transit.

When customers want to make an online purchase, they typically seek information about the precise date of delivery. Once they've placed an order, they're eager to track its progress and, most importantly, want to know when it will be delivered.

If a product doesn't provide an estimated delivery date, customers may end up abandoning their purchase due to the uncertainty it brings. Furthermore, after buying a product, customers often repeatedly ask about the delivery status, leading to a high volume of inquiries. This not only increases the workload for customer support but also results in a poor buying experience for the customer.

EDD in PDP

An accurate EDD could solve these issues. Providing an EDD benefits customers throughout their entire journey. At the time of purchase, an EDD shown on the product detail page(PDP) creates a delivery expectation that keeps shoppers interested, thereby increasing the conversion rate. The EDD can also be adjusted if there are changes in the production or shipping schedule, and customers can be notified through shipment notifications or a branded tracking page. This gives customers a clear understanding of when they can expect their orders to arrive, allowing them to plan their time accordingly and avoid missing a delivery.

Implementing an accurate EDD into the customer journey can address the uncertainty that customers may feel during the online purchasing process. It builds trust, encourages purchase decisions, and ultimately improves customer satisfaction.

How's the Estimated Delivery Date Calculated?

The estimated delivery date is usually given by the shipping carrier that the merchant is using or a dedicated shipment tracking software. There are three main sources of EDDs, each with its own way of calculating and providing.

Carrier Estimated Delivery Date

The carrier estimated delivery date for your shipment is determined by the carrier you're using. However, in reality, carrier EDDs are not always reliable, and managing them could be a tough job. For example, a carrier may not scan a parcel at every checkpoint or use different terms to describe the same status.

Besides, you can only receive the EDD after the shipping process begins. This means you cannot provide the estimated delivery date to customers before they decide whether or not to make a purchase.

Custom Estimated Delivery Date

To provide an EDD before the purchase, most shipment tracking software offers a valuable feature known as custom estimated delivery dates for all imported shipments. This feature utilizes a specialized formula to calculate the EDDs, allowing merchants to establish specific shipping rules based on various occasions.

There are certain factors that influence the estimated delivery date of a shipment:

  • Processing time: This refers to the duration it takes for the seller to prepare the order for shipment. Factors such as order volume, complexity, and internal processing procedures contribute to the overall processing time. For example, during peak seasons or special events, there may be a substantial increase in order volume. This surge in demand can lead to longer processing times.
  • Shipment method: The chosen service offered by the carrier plays a crucial role in determining transit time. Different options like standard ground shipping or expedited shipping result in varying delivery timelines.
  • Destination: The final location of the shipment is an important determinant of the EDD. Whether the delivery is domestic or international, the shipping distance between the seller and the buyer affects the estimated timeframe.
  • Availability of inventory: If a product is out of stock or on backorder, the delivery date will be impacted. The availability of inventory directly affects the processing time and, consequently, the estimated delivery timeframe.

Based on the above factors, the general formula for computing custom EDD that shipment tracking software provides is:

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Fast-moving consumer goods industry: Estimated delivery date = Order created date + Order cutoff and processing time + Transit time
Handicraft or other pre-sale industries: Estimated delivery date = Order fulfilled date + Transit time

Shipping Rules

To make the shipment tracking software provide you with the estimated delivery date, you need to set up shipping rules. These rules help gather information and calculate the EDD. By default, the software uses location-based shipping rules. This means that the EDD is determined based on the customer's location.

You can also set up custom shipping rules for EDD on specific products and product types, including adding extra time for processing and handling. You can customize any factors as you want, such as:

  • Choose the industry type
  • Edit the order cutoff time and processing times
  • Choose the shipping zone and shipping method
Custom EDD

While accounting for various factors and implementing specific customized shipping rules, it is important to recognize that some real-life conditions and unexpected variables can affect the shipping process. Consequently, a custom estimated delivery date might not accurately reflect sudden changes, which could lead to customer dissatisfaction due to inaccurate estimations.

AI-predicted Estimated Delivery Date

For a more accurate and realistic EDD, combining the carrier update information with your in-house data is the only solution. The most effective way to achieve that is AI technology.

Some shipment tracking software like AfterShip specially offers AI-powered estimated delivery dates by analyzing historical tracking data from carrier services. AI predictions can continuously perform machine learning and use rule-based algorithms to improve accuracy, making it the most accurate EDD.

EDD Best Practice

In order to display the estimated delivery date on places you want, first you need to enable the EDD feature of the platform or software you’re adopting.

Shopify Integration

If you’re using Shopify, some shipment tracking software allows you to easily integrate and deploy EDD widgets on your Shopify pages, so that there’s no need for lengthy code or a large group of developers.

EDD API

If the ERP software or eCommerce platforms you’re using haven't integrated with any shipment tracking software, you can choose software that offers an EDD API. Integrating EDD API with your current tech stack and then auto-extracting relevant data to your system for informed decision-making.

Additional Feature

In addition to displaying on brand tracking pages and sending notifications to buyers’ emails, from a merchant’s perspective, EDD can help them improve customer satisfaction in another way.

On-time Performance Analytics

The on-time analytics can provide you with useful insights and allow you to benchmark the EDDs and on-time performance of different carriers. It allows merchants to measure and compare the on-time rate of carriers with standardized statuses.

Performance Analytics

As we introduced above, the AI-driven EDD is probably the most accurate way of prediction. If you’re ready to boost your conversion rates and significantly improve your customer experience, we now recommend you two shipment tracking software that deploy this feature.

AfterShip

AfterShip EDD

AfterShip utilizes AI technology trained by the data from over 4.4 billion shipments to proactively engage with your customers and provide EDDs with higher accuracy than the industry average.

With coverage of over 101 major carriers (and more to come) and a decade of experience, AfterShip delivers predictions for 96% of deliveries, surpassing the typical carrier's prediction rate of less than 50%. The AI model also offers dynamic EDD updates during transportation based on the actual logistics status, including potential delay alerts detected by the AI model.

Rush

Rush EDD

Rush offers a Smart Estimated Delivery Date feature that enables merchants to provide accurate delivery dates by using carrier data, custom rules, and AI predictions to generate reliable EDDs.

Rush's AI model is trained using millions of shipments processed each month, resulting in delivery date predictions with over 90% accuracy. It takes various factors into account, such as holidays, product details, and historical information about package deliveries from your store and similar stores.

Conclusion

If you are looking to learn more about the estimated delivery date or if your business is experiencing specific EDD needs, we are here to help. Talk to our experts now!