Last Updated on by Dan Stevens
Originally Published August 22, 2019.
Countdown timers, estimated delivery dates and clear shipping dates have become a staple requirement for eCommerce stores over the last decade. With the advances in logistics and the Amazon Prime factor, merchants are competing not only product, price and customer service but also fulfilment.
Don’t worry if you are a merchant who doesn’t or simply can’t offer lighting fast shipping options. The ever evolving consumer can be satisfied as long as they know the deal upfront. This is where countdown timers and clear shipping dates can play a vital role.
What exactly is a countdown timer?
A countdown timer in it’s simplest form is a visual element on a store which represents how long a customer has to order to have their order processed, usually on the same day.
For example, let’s imagine the current time is 1.25pm and the store will process and dispatch orders the same day as long as they are received by 3pm. Given our example, the store would show a countdown something like this:
Like customer expectations, countdown timers have evolved to now include information surrounding estimated delivery dates. Taking the same example:
This information is what your customers are now seeking in order to click that buy now button. Without this, first time customers (which make up 90% of most stores traffic) are left to seek this information out for themselves. Some will give up, some will get lost and even worse; some will simply click the back button and shop elsewhere.
How Countdown timers can help your store
Countdown timers have multiple benefits but the 3 main ways they can help are:
- Conversion rate
- Manage customer expectation
- Reduce customer service
The primary benefit of a countdown timer is the increase in conversion rate for your Shopify store. If customers can easily see a basic guide of when they can expect to receive an order that they place today, they are more likely to place it. The amount of customers that leave a store because this information isn’t readily available equates to lost sales for your store.
Manage customer expectation
The second main benefit of having a countdown timer is that it can help set and manage customer expectations. A countdown timer is like having a sales assistant answer the questions a customer may have such as “When do I need to place the order if I want it processed today” and “If I place my order today, when am I likely to receive it?”. A countdown timer can answer both these questions on autopilot.
Reduce customer service
The third main benefit of having a countdown timer for your Shopify store is the impact it can have on your customer service. Countdown timers are able to reduce customer service requests that arise from customers who have pre-sales and post-sales queries. Customers will no longer have to reach out about potential shipping times if you are providing this information update.
The second aspect is when a customer has placed the order and is now waiting for it. When a customer shops on your store, a countdown timer will have displayed an estimated date. This is particularly handy for stores than have longer than usual lead times, for example anything over 3 days. Customers that are aware they may have to wait 5-7 days for shipping will wait if they know to. If you don’t communicate this information upfront then a customer may reach out after just 1-2 days has passed, chasing their order. These scenarios can be avoided with a countdown timer.
Here are the best countdown timers for Shopify
Now we know that your Shopify store needs a countdown timer, here are 6 of the best countdown timers for Shopify.
Delivery timer was built for merchants by merchants to answer the #1 question potential customers have, “when will I get it by?”. With Delivery Timer, you can display a beautiful visual or text based timer providing the information your visitors need before making that purchase.
Price: Free tier available.
Countdown timer bar is nifty little app that shows a timer in the top part of your store. This is best suited for merchants that dont use the top part of their store for anything else like announcements, offers and other store messaging.
Price: Free tier available.
Hurrify provides customizable countdown timers for the product page. There are also some additional urgency based features provided these align with your brand.
If you need to display a large timer on your store as part of a promotion, Widgetic can help. Whilst not suitable for product pages all year round, this is perfect for a promotion or competition.
Countdown timer ultimate is a simple way of creating a timer for many purposes. Customize your countdown timer with the wide range of customization options and presets.
Price: Free tier available
Scarcity countdown timer is another option to show timers next to the product. With a variety of styles and presets, this is a flexible option.
Finding the right timer for your store is essential for you and your traffic. As well as increasing conversions, managing customer expectations and reducing customer support, it must also communicate the information clearly and in keeping with the aesthetic of your store. Delivery Timer is a great solution for most merchants and also includes a free tier. You can find out more about Delivery Timer here.