How to Make a Delivery Promise in Checkout to Grow Sales and Boost Customer Loyalty

Mar 24, 2022

Ah, The Promise. A sacred bond that creates accountability. A concept as old as time.

In commerce, the promise was often just a manufacturer’s guarantee, i.e. “We promise this’ll work.” But when eCommerce got started, we needed a new kind of promise: The Delivery Promise. 

A delivery promise is made by eCommerce shops to show their customers exactly when they can expect their orders to arrive. In essence, it is a commitment to a specific timeframe that sets the tone for a positive delivery experience.

We call it a promise because our word is important to us, and we want to show our customers (and your customers) that we intend to keep our promises. Plus, how else would customers really know when their orders will arrive without some kind of guarantee? 


Why making a delivery promise boosts customer loyalty: 

Making a delivery promise in checkout improves your customer's experience online in many ways:

  • It builds trust right off the bat by conveying certainty
  • It leaves a positive impression of your brand in the customer's mind
  • It makes shopping online feel more human 
  • It dramatically reduces the amount of customer emails you get just to ask, “Where’s my order?!” 
  • It holds you accountable, and motivates you to live up to your promise by delivering on time

Surprisingly, most delivery promises are terrible.

Some common issues include: 

  • Being too wide-ranging (“Arrives in 3-8 days”)
  • They’re written in “business days”
  • Even if live rates exist, they don’t include your processing times, so they’re not accurate
  • They’re vague, one-size-fits all, showing the same delivery promise regardless of orders, locations, or customer purchase history

At PrettyDamnQuick, we are obsessed with creating a delivery platform that gets every order delivered right on time. Our method is simple:

Promise what you deliver, then deliver what you promise. 


Promise what you deliver: The checkout promise

To actually deliver on your customer promise, you first need to set the right expectation---no more overpromising and underdelivering. Instead, making a delivery promise in checkout gives you the opportunity to meet and even exceed customer expectations.

Even just shifting your thinking to be more ‘delivery-promise oriented’ will increase your cart conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and returning buyers in a huge way. In fact, one study found that 60.7% of customers are more likely to purchase when they see delivery times in cart checkout. 


Great delivery promises are:

  • Specific (“Arrives on Monday”)
  • Transparent (It’s easy, just tell them what to expect for each delivery method)
  • Accurate (Should be updated in real-time about weather issues, local holidays, even just extending the arrival expectation by a day if you want to take that day off work)

For example, our Checkout Promise feature adds a delivery promise for each delivery method that displays an arrival time based on the order, the products being sold, the shipping carrier used, customer location, and more.


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Deliver what you promise: on-time delivery

Once you give an order its delivery promise, you’ve got to make right on that promise if you want your customers to stay loyal. You’ll want to check the order for any mistakes, assign it to a delivery service, fulfill it (either in-house or by an outsourced fulfillment center), and track it all once it’s on its way. 

Obviously, we think our solution is the best, or we wouldn’t have built it (initially for our own online beer delivery store), and as you might’ve guessed, we’ve baked these principles right into our eCommerce delivery platform, PrettyDamnQuick. “It’s a game-changer,” say our users. But don’t just listen to them, try it yourself.

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