Today is a perfect day to write this blog, as it's a great example of the challenges we face in the lead up to public or bank holidays.
Holiday times are usually when we are busiest as these are the times when everybody wants to send a gift. Christmas is by far the busiest time, followed by Mother's Day, Father's Day & Easter.
Then there are bank holidays that don't affect a particular holiday, but do get in the way when people need a birthday or get well gift to arrive at that time.
Unfortunately though holidays are exactly that, HOLIDAYS and so companies shut down to allow employees time off. This includes delivery companies and so even if we chose to work the holidays it isn't much use as we have no way to get your gifts delivered (unless they are local).So the very dates that customers wish their gifts to arrive are often unavailable.
All we can do in these instances is try to advise/remind our customers in advance about when last orders dates are. This is fine in the lead up to public holidays, but is harder to do during bank holidays as there is no specific occasion.
We tend to send an email newsletter out to our current customers in the lead up to holiday times so as they can place their order early and book the closest available date for delivery.
We turn the relevant holiday dates off in the calendar at checkout so as our customers will realise they cannot select that date for delivery. We also place a notice up during the checkout process that advises of the holiday & how deliveries will be affected.
Customers will of course still go ahead and order, so we also email those with a time sensitive gift to make sure they are aware when delivery will take place. Unfortunately some customers don't see the notice and think selecting "next available day" will get the gift there. At any other time of the year it will get there the next working day, just not if the next working day isn't really a working day because it's in fact a holiday. We like to confirm they are aware of the scheduled delivery date to avoid any disappointment and then offer them options such as upgrading to a Saturday delivery service.
To make matters even more complicated for us we ship both perishable and non-perishable gift baskets. Therefore perishable baskets will experience a further days delay if the holiday is on a Monday (which all Bank Holidays seem to be!) Baskets full of biscuits, cake and chocolates can ship on a Friday and then because the couriers are closed on Monday, delivery will be attempted on the Tuesday. However, if you want a fresh fruit or salmon basket we can't ship it on Friday for delivery on Tuesday as it would be in transit for too long. We have to wait and ship fresh baskets when we re-open on the Tuesday, for delivery on Wednesday so as they arrive entirely fresh. We of course make sure our customers are aware of this & if not offer options such as the Saturday delivery service again or replacing the perishable items with alternative ones for a Tuesday delivery.
Are you confused? We don't blame you! It still makes us scratch our heads sometimes & we go through the same process year after year. We have to work hard to stay on top of all the holidays and keeping our customers informed. It also doesn't help when we ship to the UK, Ireland and Europe and the bank holidays fall on different dates!
If you ever have any queries about the availability of delivery days/dates then please just drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or live chat with us and we're happy to explain the options.