Posted Nov 26, 2020 by Anastasia Dmitrieva

Local Businesses, Step Up Your Game with Delivery Time Picker at Checkout

Restaurants, groceries, and other local businesses, take note!

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of a much-anticipated tool. Now you can ask your customers for preferred delivery date (or date and time) at checkout:

This means no more guesswork for your customers. They’ll know exactly when their order will arrive. Best of all, they can choose the date and time themselves! No need to email or call you to get a delivery status update, or spend a whole day waiting anxiously by the door for a courier. Plus, customers can schedule a delivery for a special occasion ahead of time. This ensures that their birthday cake or wedding bouquets will arrive on time, with minimal worry.

Allowing customers to choose a preferred delivery time makes them more confident about making a purchase in the first place, and increases trust in your business.

This benefits your customers, but the delivery time picker is even more helpful for you! It allows you to better organize your business around set order times. For example, you can:

  • Take into account your average order fulfilment time, and customize time slot lengths when offering available time slots for delivery. This ensures that you have enough time to prepare orders.
  • Allow placing orders outside of delivery hours (for example, if you sell ready-made meals). That allows you to collect pre-orders and minimizes abandoned carts.
  • Allow same-day delivery and stand out among your competitors.

Our delivery time picker has rich setting details that make it easier for you to prepare and deliver orders on time. This makes for a better shopping experience for your customers, which means more loyal shoppers for your business!

In this post:

Subscribe to the Ecwid E-commerce blog
Please enter a valid email address

Why You Need Delivery Time Picker for your Checkout

Since the start of the pandemic, local delivery has been in more high-demand than ever. At the same time, customers expect certain things from local delivery: they want their orders on time — and often as fast as possible. They want to know when they can expect their order —or— better yet, to be able to choose when they can get it.

Now you can ask for delivery time at checkout, which allows for a more organized processing of local delivery orders. Plus, there’s no need for a customer to contact you with details about local delivery: they’ll be able to choose delivery time right from their checkout.

To make sure delivery fulfillment is more convenient for you, we’ve kept our delivery time picker settings simple and flexible. Read on to get the lay of the land!

How to Use Delivery Time Picker

A convenient checkout process is a game-changer for local businesses. The easier it is for a customer to place an order for a preferred time, the more confident they’ll be about their purchase, and so, the less likely they’ll be to drop off. Let’s explore how you can make that happen in your Ecwid store.

Ask for delivery date and time at checkout

Now your customers can pick a convenient delivery date and time when placing an order in your store. It’s a win-win: customers don’t have to contact you for details, and you don’t spend time on repetitive questions, and can manage orders more efficiently.

This setting not only makes your customer journey more comfortable, but it also allows you to collect pre-orders. Knowing a delivery date in advance is especially helpful if you sell products for special occasions — for example, birthday cakes or flowers.

You can choose to ask for both delivery date and time at checkout, or for the delivery date only.

Note: Time options are displayed in the timezone you set up on the “Regional Settings” page of your Control Panel. At checkout, customers will see which timezone is set up in your store.

Allow placing orders outside of operating hours

Imagine the bummer of ordering midnight snacks for your Netflix binge sesh, only for the food to arrive the next morning. “Why didn’t they tell me their kitchen closes at 11?” you might shout into a bowl of microwave popcorn. And your anger would be justified!

You don’t want that to happen to your customers, right? That’s why you pre-set your operating hours for delivery, say to 9:00am-9:00pm. Customers can’t place orders after delivery hours, and they’re informed of when you’re next open for delivery.

Setting up operating hours has been available for some time (you might have even used it in your store). So why are we talking about it now? Well, that tool just got a lot better! Now you can allow customers to place orders outside of operating hours. This way, you encourage them to order immediately, which means fewer abandoned carts for you.

Your customers will be informed about your operating hours at checkout and they’ll be able to place an order:

It’s more convenient for customers to order at once, rather than come back later. And, “pre-orders” sounds better than “no orders”, right?

Of course, if you’d prefer to block placing orders outside the schedule, no worries, you can still do that.

But what if you offer delivery 24/7? Don’t set operating hours, and your customers will be able to order at any time and day they want.

Specify delivery time slot length

You can get very precise with your set delivery time by specifying delivery time slot length.

For example, if you want your customers to choose delivery within these windows: 10:00  11:00, 11:00  12:00, 12:00  13:00, etc. You can choose a one hour slot length when setting up delivery in your store.

By default, time slots are set up in one hour increments, but you can pick a different way of dividing them up, depending on how slowly or quickly you can deliver.

Allow same-day delivery

Same-day delivery is a strong competitive advantage — and now you can show that off at checkout. Let your customers choose delivery on the same day they place the order and you’ll see those order notifications pile up.

To keep order management and delivery more efficient, you can set up the latest time for placing orders for same-day delivery. For example, if you run a restaurant and the kitchen closes at 18:00, it might be helpful to set 17:00 as a cutoff time for same-day delivery. This way you ensure all orders are prepared and delivered on time.

If a customer places their order after 17:00, they’ll be able to choose a delivery time for the next day.

But what if you don’t want to rush, or need more time to plan the delivery route? Disable the same-day delivery setting and work through your orders, no rush.

Specify order fulfillment time

Let’s tease our brains a little:

You run a restaurant and you know that it takes about 20 minutes to prepare one course. It also takes about an hour before the order is handed over to the customer. Question: how do you avoid keeping those hungry customers waiting?

Solution: set up your order fulfillment time. This is the average time from an order placement to its delivery to the customer. The formula is simple: the time it takes you to prepare an order for delivery + your average delivery time. So in the example above, it’s best to mark 90 minutes as your order fulfillment time.

You can choose minutes, hours or business days when setting up your order fulfillment time. This setting provides you with enough time to fulfill the order, while your customers can schedule a preferred delivery time.

The coolest thing about order fulfillment time is that it is taken into account when offering delivery time picker at checkout to your customers. For example, if you deliver 9:30-18:30, and your order fulfillment time is one hour. If a customer places an order at 16:00, the nearest window available for them will be 16:30  17:30.

How to Set Up Delivery Time Picker in Your Store

To help your business respond to COVID-19, the delivery time picker at checkout will be available on all plans through the end of 2020.

You can check out the delivery time picker tool when setting up local delivery in your Ecwid store. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the “Shipping & Pickup” page in your Control Panel.
  2. Choose the local delivery option you want to edit. Or set up a new one following these instructions.
  3. When setting up or editing your local delivery method, scroll down to “Delivery operating hours” setting and enable it.
  4. Check off the days and choose the times when this delivery option should be available. You can choose several operating hours intervals during one day:
  5. Scroll down to “Ask for delivery date and time at checkout” and turn it on.
    Keep in mind that after you enable this setting, ordering outside of operating hours will be allowed automatically.
  6. Choose how you want to limit delivery time choice: by date only or by date and time.
  7. If you choose to ask for date and time slot, specify the delivery time slot length:
  8. If you want to allow customers to order and get delivery on the same day, enable the “Same-day delivery” setting. Set up the cut-off time for placing orders for same-day delivery in the “Cutoff time for the same-day delivery” dropdown:
  9. Add an order fulfillment time. You can choose to organize by minutes, hours or business days in the dropdown menu. (If you chose the “Ask for date only” option in the “Ask for delivery date and time at checkout” setting, you’ll be able to choose days only in the dropdown menu.)

That’s it! Now your customers should be able to choose a preferred delivery day and time at checkout, according to your operating hours and order fulfillment time.

To check the information about delivery date and time picked by customers, go to the “Orders” page in your Control Panel. You’ll see the information about the order delivery time on each order card on that page:

The delivery time selected by your customers will also be displayed in their order details:

You can search local delivery orders on the “Orders” page by delivery date and time to see what orders should be fulfilled first. To do that, click “Filter” and then click “Pickup or delivery date and time”:

You can specify the time range you are looking for, or look for orders coming in in the next 3 hours, 24 hours, on this particular day, or in the next 3 days.

Information about the delivery time and date is also available in the New Order email notification:

To learn more about local delivery settings, check out our Help Center.

More Tools for Local Businesses

These updates mean that you now have more tools than ever for managing local delivery while also making the checkout process smoother for your customers. To provide more options to your local customers, be sure to take advantage of other Ecwid tools. For example:

Are you ready to add the delivery time picker to your checkout? How do you manage local delivery orders? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

About the author
Anastasia Dmitrieva is a Product Manager at Ecwid during the day and a proud plant mum in her free time.
We use cookies and similar technologies to remember your preferences, measure effectiveness of our campaigns, and analyze depersonalized data to improve performance of our site. By choosing «Accept», you consent to the use of cookies.