Planning for the 2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Written by Aurélien Leftick on December 6, 2018 Blog.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, but there are still plenty of holiday shoppers looking for the perfect gift. With many wanting their purchases by December 25th, it’s critical for you to plan around your carrier’s holiday shipping deadlines and set expectations with shoppers.

To help, we created this chart outlining the important send-by dates recommended by USPS for Christmas delivery.

2018 Holiday Shipping Deadlines Download a PDF version.

USPS has more detailed resources about the holiday deadlines: Holiday Workshop, Holiday Newsroom, and Know the Deadlines fact sheet.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of holiday shopping season:

1. Set (and publicize!) your “order-by” dates.

Use your carrier’s send-by dates to determine your own “order-by” dates: the dates by which customers need to place an order for them to receive it before December 25. Make sure you give yourself enough time for processing, packing, and shipping the order. Announce these dates clearly on your store to set expectations with your customers.

Our friends at Pressable wrote a great post on how to create eye-catching announcements.

2. Prepare for last-minute shoppers.

We’ve all been there, shopping at the last minute for the remaining friends, coworkers, and family members on our gift list. Help your last-minute shoppers along:

  • Before your order-by date: Offer expedited shipping options like Global Express Guaranteed® and USPS Priority Mail Express® to push back your order-by date and extend the shopping window. Your shipping costs will be higher, and you can pass those additional costs along to your customers. Use carrier rate extensions to help you calculate and charge shipping costs during checkout.
  • After your order-by date: sell virtual gift cards and avoid shipping logistics altogether.

3. Get orders out quickly.

Your order-by and your carrier’s send-by dates will likely be set very close together, maybe even be the same day. Fulfilling orders quickly and efficiently will be key to your success.

Use WooCommerce Shipping to buy discounted USPS labels with just a few clicks right from WooCommerce. Plus, with WooCommerce Shipping, you can print USPS labels right from your computer, avoiding long holiday lines at the post office.

Create USPS label
Get USPS labels with just a few clicks right from the ‘Orders’ page.

Maximizing the holiday shopping season

We hope this helps demystify your shipping deadlines and optimize your holiday sales. Do you have your own holiday shipping tips to share?

Simplify your shipping with WooCommerce Shipping

35 Responses

  1. Achara
    December 7, 2018 at 10:02 am #

    I like to do shopping on holidays only. Cause holidays come with special occasions like festivals and national programs. So many merchants offer some great discounts and exciting deals.
    And will try your tips to maximize my shopping.
    Thank you!!

    • Gareth Allison
      December 12, 2018 at 11:45 am #

      That’s true, Achara – there are some great deals on offer during the holiday season.

      Thanks for reading the WooCommerce blog. 🙂

  2. Carol
    December 7, 2018 at 9:28 pm #

    Look forward to woocommerce being able to apply to Australian postal services.

    • Gareth Allison
      December 12, 2018 at 11:43 am #

      Hi Carol! Thanks for reading the blog and commenting here.

      There is a WooCommerce integration available in the Marketplace for shipping with Australia Post:

      This plugin allows you to get shipping rates from Australia Post’s API, with three packing methods available.

      Take a look – it may just do the trick for you and your store. 🙂

  3. dlapk
    December 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

    I realy appreciate your hard work.
    it has been using your service for almost 1 year ♥

    • Gareth Allison
      December 12, 2018 at 11:46 am #

      That’s great to hear, dlapk 🙂

      We’re glad to have you as part of the open source eCommerce community!

  4. Aria
    December 10, 2018 at 7:07 pm #

    Great information. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Confidence Spriee
    December 13, 2018 at 9:47 am #

    Thanks Aurlien. Very informative

  6. Mike Cole
    December 20, 2018 at 7:48 am #

    Thank you, Aurelien. This will make my holiday more special.

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  8. kristalkaur2020
    December 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

    Cyber monday provide a opportunity to buy products at cheap rate, but it will be good shopping if we will do in a planner manner.

    Birthday Greetings from Kristal

  9. Ajeet
    December 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

    Nice, very informative post. Happy holiday to woocommerce team. See you soon in new year.

  10. max
    December 22, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

    great read, thanks a lot for posting

  11. Jack Smith
    December 24, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    Awesome information. I just love WordPress & WooCommerce. Thanks!!!

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  15. Megri Outreach
    December 27, 2018 at 7:12 am #

    Great suggestions, being a owner I can understand the hectic to please holiday shoppers. Heartfelt thank for the suggestions.

  16. piesito1995
    December 27, 2018 at 3:27 pm #

    amazing info sir

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