Amazon are defaulting Handling Time to 1 day for new products for many sellers. They are also changing the default transit time for standard shipping to 2-3 days for delivery to the UK mainland (previously 3-5 days) and 5-7 days for delivery of items sold on other Amazon EU marketplaces (varied by country but previously was up to 9 or 10 days) for some sellers.
“We are doing so because our data shows that these are the actual delivery time taken by your carriers. You always have the option to change your Transit Time to a slower speed, but please remember customers are more likely to purchase products that have a faster delivery time!
Amazon have been offering an opt out to some sellers who don’t want their transit times changed by filling out a six page documnt demanding to know why you’d want to have longer ship times. If you do fill out this form make sure you read the questions throughly – once you click through to the next page you can’t go back!
Why might you wish to have a slower transit time displayed?
It’s all well and good offering a speedy delivery at quiet times of year, but there’s an increased level of uncertainty at busy periods and especially in the run up to Christmas. This year the situation is more uncertain than ever with the prospect of postal strikes by Royal Mail workers who are CWU members.
There’s also the issue that Amazon EU country sites don’t always recognise UK bank holidays and make no allowances for late despatch on these days.
Having a slower delivery promise gives some flex at these times and equally the opportunity to delight customers with faster than promised delivery the rest of the year. It may well be that if Royal Mail strike this year and you switch to alternative economy services that deliveries could take an extra day or two to arrive. Make sure that you have alternative shipping plans in place in case you should need them and consider your despatch and transit time promises with this in mind.
An alternative of course (which won’t suit every seller and every product) is to stick your stock into FBA, wash your hands of the delivery side of your Amazon business and make it Amazon’s problem.