4 Shipment delay email templates for CS teams in e-commerce

Huib Adriaans
Published on
April 5, 2024

Once parcels leave warehouses, you need to trust carriers to take care of the job to deliver them successfully. Unfortunately, some shipment delays are unavoidable. That's why we share shipment delay email templates, smart communication strategies, and automation tips to maintain customer satisfaction. Let's get right to it.

The impact of shipment delays on customer satisfaction in e-commerce

Nearly 7 out of 10 shoppers are less likely to return to a retailer if their purchase isn't delivered within two days of the promised date.

Customers count on that delivery date to align perfectly with their plans. But when it's delayed, it's throwing a wrench into their well-laid plans. Suddenly, those special occasions they've been looking forward to? Missed. The excitement of giving the perfect gift? Turns into disappointment. 

And when they urgently need something, whether it's for personal or professional reasons? Well, let's just say frustration levels skyrocket. It's not just a hiccup in their day; it's a dent in their trust in the company's reliability. 

Still, there is an opportunity for customer service teams to turn a potentially harmful experience into a positive one. But it’s your job to equip them with the right tools to do so. 

Challenges of shipment delays for CS teams

Shipment delays are a real test for your customer support team. They need to deal with a lack of tracking information, unclear delivery estimates, and different carrier processes. 

This often leads to frustration among customers who expect real-time updates and accurate information. 

Struggling with a lack of tracking information

Customers expect to receive real-time updates on their order delivery status. Still, when shipments are delayed, CS teams may need help to provide accurate and up-to-date tracking information. 

Without the right shipment tracking software, your team depends on scattered carrier information to do this. They must manually navigate through various carrier platforms as well as contact carriers for updates. All while customers are eagerly waiting for an update.

So, when customer service teams struggle to provide accurate tracking information, it results in wasted time and frustration for both customers and staff. And when you can’t promptly address customer inquiries and meet their expectations, you risk a loss of confidence in the company's service.

It’s hard to work with unclear delivery estimates

Customers rely on estimated delivery dates to plan their purchases and expect their orders to arrive within a specific timeframe. However, when shipments are delayed, CS teams may need help to provide customers with accurate delivery estimates.

Without clear delivery estimates, consumers start feeling uneasy. What happens then? These ambiguous delivery times result in increased customer inquiries and complaints, overwhelming support systems and staff with a higher volume of inquiries. 

Carriers often provide broad delivery windows. Yes, the status says “on its way” but when it doesn’t show up, and a customer contacts the support team to find out more, they can only contact the carrier to ask for an update. Unless they have access to the right data that gives them an accurate indication of what’s going on with the delivery exception.

It’s time-consuming to work with different carrier processes and data

Each carrier may have its own processes for handling delays. And sometimes the parcel status from the carrier just doesn’t say a lot — or at least, not what you need to know. 

This leads to CS teams contacting the carriers, and they may need to navigate multiple systems to access the necessary information. This collaboration requires coordination and effective communication to ensure accurate and timely information is provided to customers — and working with vague data is just not doing the trick. 

What’s more, if you want to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to prevent future delays, you need to be able to analyze the data related to shipment delays to identify any patterns. A tool like Tracey simplifies and unifies this data.

Example UPS tracking page

4 shipment delay templates for e-commerce

Did you know that 2 in 5 customers experience a delivery delay? Using email templates allows customer service teams to save time and surprise customers with proactive updates. 

These templates help your teams to update customers and manage expectations. Because when a parcel is lost or delayed, the first action to take is to update your customer. By keeping them in the loop, you significantly reduce the risk of customers getting frustrated.

Here are four shipment delay email templates that can be customized to fit the situation and your brand's tone of voice and style.

1. Delayed shipment email template

Subject line: [Item] is delayed until [date]

Preview text: We noticed your parcel is delayed, but here's what you can expect.


Hello [first name],

Just a heads-up — we’re experiencing some shipping delays due to carrier capacity. [Item] is delayed until [date]. 

Apologies for any hassle this might cause you. Keep an eye on your order status page and stay tuned for updates from us. We'll let you know more as soon as we do.

Our customer service team [is available via chat, email, or phone] or [is experiencing high call volumes], so please be aware that wait times may be increased.

Thanks for hanging in there!

As a reminder, please visit your order tracking page for updates: [Link to order tracking page]

2. Expected delivery time email template

Subject line: [Item] is on its way! Estimated delivery date: [date]

Preview text: Great news! Your order is on its way.


Hello [first name],

We are excited to let you know that your order is on its way! We apologize for the delay, but we really appreciate your patience while we got everything sorted out.

Your order is scheduled to be delivered on [date]. Please note that this is an estimated delivery date. Unexpected twists can sometimes occur, potentially impacting the delivery date. But no worries, we'll make sure to keep you in the loop if anything changes.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to our customer support team. We are here to help!

Thank you for choosing [company name]. We hope your purchase exceeds all expectations!

3. Delayed shipment update email template

Subject line: Shipping Delay Update: [Item]

Preview text: We are sorry for the delay and appreciate your understanding.


Hello [first name],

Here’s an update on the delay of your shipment. Unfortunately, we've hit a snag due to some unexpected circumstances causing shipping delays. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Rest assured, our team is working hard to resolve the issue and get your order to you as soon as possible.

Please continue to check your order status page for the most up-to-date information on the progress of your shipment. We will also send you further updates via email.

We appreciate your understanding and patience. If you have any additional concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our customer support team.

Thank you for your continued support!

4. Delivered and apology email template

Subject line: Thank you for your patience! Enjoy a token of our appreciation.

Preview text: Your order has been delivered. Here’s x% discount to make up for the delay.


Hello [first name],

Exciting news! Your long-awaited order has finally made its way to you. We sincerely apologize for the delay and any inconvenience it may have caused along the way.

To express our gratitude for your patience and understanding, we would like to offer you a [discount code/free gift] for your next purchase. Consider it a small thank-you for sticking with us through the wait.

If you have any feedback or questions, please don't hesitate to reach out – we're always here to help.

Thank you for being a valued customer. Until next time! 

How to communicate shipping delays effectively

According to a study by Gartner, only 13% of customers receive proactive customer service, highlighting a significant area for improvement in how companies handle communication, especially concerning shipping delays.

Loyalty Through Customer Service and Support Survey - Gartner

So the question remains, how to communicate proactively? Let us share a few effective ways to do so.

5 strategies to help your CS teams communicate effectively

  1. Be proactive: Proactively communicate with customers about potential delays, especially during peak seasons or when there are known disruptions in the supply chain. Send out delivery delay email notifications to inform customers about potential delays. A tool like Tracey allows you to automatically send updates to customers based on predicted delays.
  2. Set clear expectations: Communicate the estimated delivery date to customers, but also emphasize that it is an estimate, subject to change. Be transparent about the reasons for the delay and reassure customers that their order is being processed and will be delivered as soon as possible.
  3. Add real-time tracking links: Provide customers with real-time tracking links so they can monitor the progress of their shipments themselves. This allows customers to stay informed and reduces the need to reach out to customer support for updates.
  4. Use clear and unified tracking statuses: Ensure that tracking statuses are easy to understand. Use standardized language and provide clear explanations for each status update. This helps customers track their order's progress and reduces confusion.
  5. Send emails at the right moments: Time your emails strategically to keep customers informed without overwhelming them. Send emails when there are updates or changes to the delivery timeline. Consider segmenting your email list based on delivery location or expected delivery dates to send more targeted and relevant updates.
Rosefield about the impact of proactive delivery updates

How to automate communication around delivery issues

Automating communication around delivery issues can significantly speed up customer support work and customer satisfaction. What’s more, it can reduce customer service calls customers make to find out where their order is. Here's how to streamline the process:

  • Leverage automation tools: Provide timely updates to customers without manual intervention. Set up an automated response to delivery issues in your customer service software. Automating the first response with Tracey has shown an average of 11 hours earlier response to exceptions compared to carriers.
  • Set up automated email notifications: Configure automated email notifications to inform customers about potential delays, changes in delivery timelines, and tracking updates triggered by specific events like order status updates or shipment location changes.
  • Integrate automation with customer support systems: Integrate automation tools with customer support systems to respond to inquiries more efficiently. Send automatic notifications to customers upon receiving their inquiries to ensure acknowledgment and improve transparency.
  • Generate reports and analytics: Analyze data to identify patterns and areas for improvement. Evaluate your carrier performance based on unified shipment statuses and predictions provided by tools like Tracey. Compare the carriers you’re using to the ones you’re not using (yet), and fine-tune your selection accordingly.

Run proactive customer support on autopilot with Tracey today

Imagine a tool that not only predicts potential delivery delays but proactively addresses them, enhancing the customer experience without manual intervention. 

Tracey does exactly this by using the power of automation and data to send timely parcel updates and generate in-depth reports and analytics. 

You can integrate Tracey with your current systems and use its API to send shipping data directly to custom systems or data warehouses. The software also provides real-time tracking links and updates, reducing the need for customer support inquiries as a whole. 

Using shipment delay email templates is a great starting point to improve customer satisfaction effortlessly. Plan a free demo to find out how you can take the next step to enhance the overall customer support experience for your team and your customers. 

Reduce inbound WISMO calls by up to 55% today

Numbers tell the true story

Online stores, 3PL providers and retail brands use Tracey every day to turn great shipping performance into happy customers

Accuracy of predicted delays
Reduction of inbound WISMO calls
Less time spent looking up customer data

Related articles

Best 10 logistics intelligence software solutions (2024)

Facing the reality that your net sales are swallowed by logistics expenses? Then, it's time to turn to logistics intelligence for a competitive edge. This guide highlights the top logistics intelligence software solutions of 2024 — specifically designed for online retailers and 3PL providers striving for efficiency and market dominance.

Top 15 shipment tracking software tools of 2024

Searching for shipment tracking software? Look no further. We’ve put together a list of tools for 2024, exploring who it’s for, the differences between them, and the pricing options. Discover the top 15 shipment tracking software tools to decide which one is best for your business.

Best 11+ shipping analytics software solutions (2024)

Looking for shipping analytics software? We have compiled a list of the top 12 solutions for 2024. Get insights into the differences between solutions, their key features, and pricing options. This article will help you in selecting the software tailored to your business needs.