Etsy will display estimated delivery dates to holiday shoppers, it announced today. There are pros and cons to such a feature, some of them unique to a marketplace like Etsy, and we'd like to hear what you think.
Etsy said estimated delivery dates are helpful to shoppers in making a purchase decision. For those purchasing a gift, estimates would seem helpful so they can determine if there's enough time to give as a holiday gift.
Etsy also said providing estimates helps sellers so they don't have to spend time replying to questions from shoppers about delivery timing.
Seller comments on the announcement post were mixed. Some sellers welcomed the change, others had concerns about how the dates were calculated.
If the estimated delivery dates are inaccurate in either direction, it's concerning. If they are too aggressive, sellers worry the buyer will be disappointed and blame them. On the other hand, if they are to conservative, sellers worry shoppers will refrain from purchasing.
Another issue: should Etsy emphasize speed of delivery when its marketplace is known for handmade and unique vintage items? Or is this concern overblown, given the fact many sellers prepare items ahead of time for holiday shopping season?
We'd like to know what you think of estimated delivery dates in general (including your experiences on other marketplaces), and Etsy's announcement specifically.
Note that the announcement
included some important information for sellers, such as the following:
- Make sure your processing times on items are as accurate as possible so your items' estimated delivery dates are accurate as possible as well.
- If you've accounted for shipping times in your set processing time, we recommend removing that buffer.
- If you've written estimated delivery dates elsewhere on your listings (e.g. description, shop policy), make sure they're consistent with the actual estimated delivery date range shown for the listing.
Etsy sellers should check their shipping profile settings to add preferred shipping carrier and mail classes for different destinations and shipping upgrades. It warned sellers, "If you don't input processing times and shipping carriers, we won't be able to show an estimated date range for your listings."
For sellers who use Calculated Shipping, "there's nothing you need to do," according to Etsy. "We use your set processing times and shipping carriers to show the estimated delivery date range. We'll now show the city and state of the zip code you use for Calculated Shipping next to the estimated delivery date range."