How to avoid Failed Deliveries during Festive season? An insight for Ecommerce sellers.




Did you know that one of 20 online orders never make it to its determined location? This is an extremely worrying statistic for retailers and for their customers. Failed deliveries are a nightmare for any seller across the globe. Failed delivery is one of the most common problems in the supply chain and last mile delivery operations.

The extent of deliveries at this time of the year will give all retailers a huge pressure to process and deliver every order on time. Clearly communicating about deadlines is an highly important starting point in terms of managing expectation, but it is also crucial that retailers deliver on their promises to make those deliveries prior to the festive.

Failed deliveries may cost a fortune, not just because of increased operational cost but also because its one of the first reasons for disappointed customers who decides to not to go with that company again and can become someone who can damage the brand's reputation badly. There is always an extra cost for every failed delivery attempt and it adds to the total logistic operation. The extra cost consists of multiple expenses of warehousing and others. And if the package is not delivered after multiple attempts, the further cost is incurred in the return process to the provider.

Talking about the statistics - Failed deliveries may cost around $1.2 billion per year.This figure alone indicates the importance for retailers to get their delivery processes right and provides their customers with a seamless delivery experience. During this season, every year, the expectation is so much higher and the consequence is much more impactful in terms of brand loyalty. 

Let’s have a look at how the failed deliveries impact on various categories of people.

It’s a costly affair for retailers

65% of retailers have shared that failed or late deliveries are a considerable cost to their ecommerce business. Not just financial costs that make up the consequences of a failed delivery, but also the damage to their reputation that can occur. We all are well aware that negative experiences are widely shared on social media more than good reviews. Brands become easy targets of customers on social media.

It’s a disappointment for end customers.

Buyers need more. They need orders faster. They need it cheaper. All of us have been there. Whether the package is late or doesn’t turn up at all, it’s a huge cause of frustration for buyers and they are most likely to think twice about using your brand again. A survey suggests 62% of consumers have experienced a late or failed delivery. However, what many consumers don’t realise is, this is due to the fact that they enter incorrect address information perhaps because they are in a hurry, not concentrating properly or just make a simple typo error.

Failed Deliveries - five common scenarios:
1. Failed delivery 1st time that requires re-attempt.
2. Failed delivery 1st time Solved When Customer Collects package
3. Late Delivery
4. Lost Order with Replacement
5. Undelivered Order

Clear and transparent customer communications are vital to making delivery smarter and reducing the chances of failure. A key factor in failed first delivery is the lack of information about alternative delivery options if the first option proves impossible.  But this information is often not passed at the point of order. By collecting this data, the seller can furnish the carrier with better information to help for successful delivery.

A great shopping experience is everything for the digitally empowered customer and the future of delivery relies upon successful customer experiences. Breaking down barriers and providing a frictionless delivery experience plays a vital part of the customer experience.

So how do we avoid Failed Deliveries?

Overpromising is your consumer. – This is the hot and trending way of retaining customers. Huge discounts, Special offers are all well and good, but if you get the delivery wrong, the customer experience is ruined. Your capacity for order fulfillment needs to be well prepared to meet the parcel delivery demands. You need to be more than confident that your delivery management platform, as well as your warehouse operations, partners and carriers are as reliable and efficient as possible. You need to ensure you have the staffing and inventory to support heavy demands. If everything isn’t in place to meet the increase in demand, it can put fulfilment in jeopardy.  Shoppers prefer for their orders to arrive when they expect rather than be promised Next Day Delivery only for the package to not materialize.

Many retailers are putting potentially needless pressure on their carrier network by offering the same- or next-day delivery to customers when they don’t necessarily require it. In doing so they artificially raise expectations of what is possible, increasing the chances that those expectations won’t be met. By rationalizing the delivery promise to what is realistic, and communicating this effectively to customers, there is a far greater chance of providing a more satisfactory experience. Set delivery expectations more realistically.

Speed is not everything.– Every year, it seems a lot like everyone is on the race literally to deliver the packages before the delivery date. Rapid delivery is all the more essential for consumers. Not every retailer can match this kind of speed, but it is most important for brands to be clear on this and to deliver on what can be achieved rather than promise a next day delivery that arrives late. Retailers should also aim to create direct and meaningful connections with customers offering consistent and trustworthy post-purchase tracking communications. With high levels of orders in a short space of time, it will be those who are utilizing automation like AI and chatbots to increase efficiency and productivity to cope best with the pressures of Christmas orders and ensure a smooth experience from ordering to delivery.

By establishing the true customer need, rather than assuming that speed trumps all, retailers could reduce the number of options they offer and focus on providing a more reliable, transparent and ultimately better quality of service.

Pick-up options.- Lastly, empowering the consumer by providing them with as many delivery options as possible can make a huge difference to the experience. The convenience of being able to select a new address post-order, or to pick up from a designated collection point can be just as beneficial for the busy holiday shopper, if not more so than a next day delivery that arrives at an empty house. The Click and Collect option of buying online and picking up in-store is gaining popularity and is a great alternative to next day delivery, offering speed and convenience to the customer who can access their goods the day after ordering. It offers peace of mind and a great way to build brand loyalty. Customers will lay the blame at the retailer and not the carrier or the weather or any other factor. On the other hand, if you can deliver on your promise you could gain a trusting and loyal customer base for all year round.

Final Word:
Takeaways for retailers- The two most important takeaways for online sellers this holiday season.

1.Communicate Christmas delivery deadlines and keep customers informed with post-purchase customer communication.
2.Provide flexibility on delivery and pick-up options to provide the most convenience to shoppers.
Retailers that have a solid approach to both will have a significant advantage over their competitors.
Let this and every festive eCommerce deliveries are delivered on the first attempt!!


Comments

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