A step-by-step guide on how to effectively use the WooCommerce Estimated Delivery Dates plugin.

Step 1: Installation and Activation

  • Purchase and Download: Visit the WooCommerce website or plugin marketplace where the WooCommerce Estimated Delivery Dates plugin is available. Purchase and download the plugin.
  • Installation: Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard. Navigate to ‘Plugins’ in the left-hand menu and click ‘Add New.’ Upload the downloaded plugin and activate it.

Step 2: Customizing Shipping Methods

  • Navigate to Shipping Methods: Back in the WooCommerce Settings, click on the ‘Shipping’ tab and then choose ‘Shipping Zones.’ Click on a specific shipping zone related to your online store.
  • Customize Shipping Method: Edit each shipping method associated with your gifting store. You can adjust the available days of the week for shipping and delivery, set the number of days an order is expected to spend in transit, choose the cutoff time each day for an order to be shipped, select whether to use a seven-day week or only business days in the calculation, and even add custom shipping and delivery blackout dates that are specific only to that shipping method. Tailor these parameters to align with the nature of your operations and the preferences of your customers.

Step 3: Defining Global Blackout Dates

  • Access the Plugin Settings: In your WordPress dashboard, go to WooCommerce -> Settings -> Shipping (tab) -> Estimated Delivery Blackout Dates (link in the shipping sub-navigation).
  • Set Blackout Dates: In the Estimated Delivery Blackout Dates section, use the provided fields to enter or select blackout dates on the calendar. These dates could correspond to holidays, peak seasons, or any periods when you cannot provide shipping or delivery services. Global blackout dates will be used to calculate the estimated delivery dates for all orders, in addition to any blackout dates that are set for that order’s specific shipping method.
  • Customize Unavailability: Designate these blackout dates to be unavailable for shipping or delivery. This ensures that customers are aware of these periods when placing orders.

Step 4: Enhancing Customer Experience

  • Display Estimated Delivery Dates: With the plugin properly configured, customers will now see estimated delivery dates during the checkout process. These dates will be displayed in the cart, at checkout, and in order confirmation emails.

Step 5: Regular Maintenance

  • Update and Delete Blackout Dates: After blackout dates have passed, the fields will turn yellow. To manage these, either update the date to the following year, delete the date with the minus button, or leave it for historical reference.

Step 6: Monitor and Adjust

  • Regularly Review and Adjust: Keep an eye on your store’s performance and customer feedback. If necessary, fine-tune your blackout dates and shipping method settings to optimize your customers’ experience.

By following these steps, you’ll effectively utilize the WooCommerce Estimated Delivery Dates plugin for your e-commerce gifting online store. This will enhance customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and create a more transparent and enjoyable shopping experience for your customers.