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November 4, 2020

How Fast Delivery Affects Holiday Conversions

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Flexport Editorial Team

November 4, 2020

This blog post was originally published by Deliverr, which is now Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.

T’is the season to be jolly. It’s also the season to increase eCommerce conversions.

Last year, online holiday sales increased by 13.1%, and this year they’re predicted to hit 30% of total retail sales. Want a slice of that holiday pie?

In this article we explain how fast delivery affects holiday conversions and how to increase your delivery speeds at the busiest time of the year.

How Fast Delivery Affects Ecommerce Conversions

Fast shipping is fundamental for online retailers all year round, helping nurture leads and secure conversions across marketplaces and eCommerce platforms.

This success is for three core reasons:

  1. Practicality: Fast shipping speeds ensure all customers receive their orders in time, regardless of how late they leave it.
  2. Psychology: Fast shipping fosters feelings of trust (orders arriving on time) and value (a premium service) that satisfies the subconscious and encourages sales.
  3. Customer experience: Fast shipping lies behind outstanding customer experiences, creating a seamless journey from discovery to receipt.

Why Fast Delivery Becomes More Important During the Holidays

Providing fast shipping options becomes more critical during the festive season, with 95% of shoppers citing expedited delivery as very important.

Fast shipping is important for your holiday bottom line too. Walmart’s research shows that its TwoDay delivery sellers experience up to a 40% increase in GMV compared to sellers offering standard shipping - a significant increase at a prosperous time of year.

But why does fast delivery affect holiday conversions so much?

Increased Traffic

To convert customers, you need traffic on your website and marketplace listings, which is easier said than done during the most competitive season for consumer attention.

Fast shipping generates more Christmas traffic to your store by increasing visibility on:

  • Online marketplaces: Qualifying for fast shipping programs that boost search result placement, buy box eligibility, and advertising options.
  • Search engines: Giving you more long-tail keywords to target for SEO by including “fast shipping” and “fast delivery” in your optimization 
  • Social media: Providing you a different hook to grab attention on social media advertisements and holiday marketing campaigns
  • Your website: Increasing the visual appeal of your product pages and categories by including fast shipping banners, tags, and countdowns


And, the more traffic and sales fast shipping generates, the more clicks and reviews you have to boost sales further - creating an enviable flywheel effect.

Standing Out From the Competition

The holidays are expensive, which is why shoppers spend more time researching options and comparing prices. But, with other sellers lowering prices and enhancing their listings, it’s challenging to stand out.

Fast shipping differentiates your store on a different level, providing customers with something valuable to set you apart, helping them decide whom to buy from.

Even better, when you match or exceed the shipping options of online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay, you can drive direct sales to increase your profits further.

Fostering Trust

Christmas is a time for giving, meaning shoppers are buying products they rarely buy, from sellers they never visit.

This unfamiliarity creates risk, which causes doubt and - you’ve guessed it - cart abandonment.

Fast shipping mitigates this risk by providing a signal of trust. It shows you value the customer experience, and it means shoppers don’t have to wait long to receive their products and verify your trustworthiness. If you’re on a fast shipping program, customers also get a marketplace guarantee that you’re a genuine seller with outstanding shipping speeds and services.

Accommodating Different Holiday Shoppers

Different holiday shoppers have different purchase motivators and blockers that are difficult to target and overcome at once; unless you offer fast shipping.

Fast delivery accommodates the full spectrum of holiday shoppers - widening your pool and increasing your holiday conversions. For example:

  • Early-bird shoppers don’t like risk. Fast shipping reduces the risk of buying online by providing those signals of trust we mentioned
  • Planners like organization and information. Fast shipping ensures they don’t miss out on low stock products while also providing timely tracking updates
  • Last-minute shoppers have little time left. Fast shipping ensures gifts arrive in time for the holidays

Repeat Purchases

Finally, fast shipping increases repeat holiday conversions.

Most people spread their Christmas shopping over the holiday period, and delivery speed is a key factor in the decision to shop with a retailer again. Half of customers will abandon a brand if they deliver late, and this is especially true in the holiday season, where a late order can have significant (and awkward) consequences.

If you provide and meet expedited delivery options, you give shoppers an excellent reason to come back for more.

How To Drive Holiday Conversions Using Fast Shipping

So, the big question: how do you drive holiday conversions using fast shipping at the busiest time of the year?

Offering fast shipping isn’t always enough - you must promote it. Promoting your delivery speeds is best done using:

  • Marketplace fast shipping programs such as Wish 2-day, eBay Fast 'N Free, and Walmart 2-day delivery
  • Fast shipping tags and banners on your eCommerce website
  • Delivery countdown timers on your product pages and listings
  • Next-day deliveries to stand out

But Before You Go…

The most critical part of generating more holiday conversions using fast delivery is to ensure you can deliver fast enough.

It’s imperative your in-house fulfillment team can cope with 2-day and next-day deliveries, or that you use a fulfillment partner with the resources, expertise, and warehouse locations to guarantee fast speeds for you.

The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.

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Flexport Editorial Team

November 4, 2020

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