As part of our new blog series, Efficient Supply Chain Management, today we'll be addressing the big concerns of shipment delays, which is so important this peak season.
If you own an ecommerce or online store, you know how frustrating it is to get complaints flooding your inboxes on when their newly purchased products will get to them. Shipping delays can occur, and is an important part of customer satisfaction and return purchases. While most of the time, shipping delays can make you helpless, however, it does not mean that you cannot avoid them on the first hand.
What causes delivery delays?
To understand how to avoid delivery delays, you need to establish what causes these delays. A number of businesses often face difficulties in delivering goods to their customers, promptly. Sometimes, the reason for a delayed delivery is partly due to a customer’s mistake. However, in most cases, an e-commerce retailer is often to blame for delivery delays. Whatever the case, here are some common causes of delivery delays:
- Documentation Mistakes – These include misspelled addresses, incorrectly completed order forms, and insufficient information among others. When a delivery company is supplied with insufficient information, chances are that the package will not reach the consumer at all.
- System Failure – E-commerce businesses often operate on a 24/7 basis. However, if your business relies on a bad hosting company, chances are that your website may experience technical problems. You will not be able to respond to orders if you are experiencing frequent system failures. This will subsequently lead to delivery delays.
- Logistical Problems – Logistical problems can be a nightmare to small businesses. In fact, logistics top the list as one of the reasons for delivery delays. The inability to handle high demand for products and numerous orders may prove to be an Achilles heel. When faced with such a situation, it becomes imperative for an online business to outsource its delivery services.
- Bad Weather – Mother Nature may hinder quick delivery of products to customers. Bad weather such as heavy snow, hailstorms and foggy conditions can play a part in causing delivery delays. This is definitely beyond the delivery agent, but should not be an excuse for late delivery.
However, even if some issues are out of your control, delivery delays can be resolved or prevented by following a few tips and tricks.
Keep Your Inventory Updated
Always keep a check on the number of products in your inventory and update it every week on your website. You won’t want your customer to order some product that is not available in warehouse. This will result and delays and your customer will get frustrated. Let your customer know if some product is not available on your website.
Get Automated Logistic Software
To save your time as well as money, experts recommend getting automated shipping software. This will help you import orders, process them, and print shipping labels easily. You can also integrate this software with your software or marketplace for more convenience.
Understand peak season traffic and how to handle it
It has been observed that maximum shipping delays are during the holiday season. It is during this time that most of people are sending gifts and products to their loved ones. If you're relying on local couriers, many may not ship on public holidays. Keep these things in mind and make necessary arrangements. Make sure that all the pending shipments are cleared before the holiday season start to avoid any further delays.
Hire a Fulfillment Service
A fulfillment service is a third-party company that handles warehousing, packaging and delivery of orders on behalf of your e-commerce business. Hiring a fulfillment service can lower operating costs, improve business focus, improve scalability and above all, eliminate delivery delays. By hiring a fulfillment service, you do not have to purchase automation software, neither do you need to worry about delivering goods during public holidays.
Offer flexible methods of shopping
Aside from courier delivery, utilise omnichannel shopping and offer flexible methods of goods receival. For example, if you have multiple warehouses in Australia, chances are you can probably offer click-and-collect at your nearest Woolies. Partnering with a third-party such as Ebay or Amazon can also expedite your processing times.
Offer compensation for their time
Lastly, when issues are out of your control, and you still need to convince that one difficult customer to stay - send a small token of your appreciation, perhaps an inexpensive item from your store, a free sample of a new product, or else a coupon or code for a discount on a future order. If you do choose to extend a tangible show of apology, make absolutely certain that you include another note of apology as well as your plan for making it right.
If you liked this blog post, stay tuned for more tips and tricks in our Efficient Supply Chain Management series. Subscribe to our blog to stay updated!
Whale Logistics are Australia’s leading Freight Forwarder and Logistics company located in Sydney and Melbourne. We deliver digital services such as Australian customs parcel tracking, parcel delivery box, and comprehensive ocean, air and road freight solutions. For cost competitive and innovative ocean freight solutions, please click the link below to contact a Whale Logistics Freight Specialist for a quote.