Delivery is often a make-or-break issue for businesses, especially those in the field of ecommerce. Accurate, timely deliveries give the signal to customers that they can be trusted and that they can expect consistent service when ordering items. In contrast, a record of delays is a big strike against the company. Customers who get their items late may not order again, and there’s a danger that they’ll speak ill of the business. As a result, both the company’s profits and reputation will take a hit.
As a business owner, you’ll likely be responsible for a few delivery-related mistakes yourself. And that’s all right as long as you have both the foresight and the commitment not to do them again. This article will outline the most common reasons behind delivery delays and offer some tips on how to avoid them in the future. These should help you manage your deliveries and achieve greater customer satisfaction.
What Are the Main Causes of Delivery Delays?
Before you make any adjustments to your delivery process, it’s important that you understand why delays happen. Most of the time, late deliveries can be attributed to a few key issues. The ones that you should watch out for are the following.
- Logistical mistakes. These happen when a business doesn’t have enough logistical power to meet high demand. They’re the reason why companies often seek other solutions, like hiring a logistics service provider, to boost their efficiency.
- System failure. Since ecommerce businesses operate on websites, having a dependable web host is paramount. The opposite could result in system failures that delay order processing and, in turn, item delivery.
- Problems at customs. Ecommerce businesses that source international products have a chance of being flagged at customs. This could be because of a miscommunication from suppliers or a lack of knowledge on local restrictions for certain products. Regardless, it is a business owner’s responsibility to make sure the products arrive without any hitches.
- Documentation errors. Delayed deliveries may also be a simple problem of wrongly encoded addresses or wrongly encoded customer names. This means that the package may do a little additional traveling before it reaches its correct destination. A business owner should prevent these small errors from happening by doing quality assurance checks with the delivery information.
- Unfavorable weather conditions. Heavy rain, snow, hailstorms, or fog may also impede timely product deliveries. But even if a business owner can’t control the course of nature, what they can control is how to adjust their delivery processes in light of these.
With these issues in mind, there are several things you can do to ensure timely delivery. Here are some action points that you can follow for your subsequent deliveries.
- Set reasonable expectations for delivery time and stay faithful to them. Late delivery of items isn’t the only thing customers will be bothered about. It’s that the company promised that they would get something within a certain period and that they didn’t make good on that promise. The solution is to set delivery times that are within reasonable expectation for both you and your customers. That way, you can meet customer expectations while keeping an ideal delivery pace for your team.
- Hire a logistics provider for some additional space and manpower for your products. Partner with a logistics provider who has the knowledge, the equipment, and the experience in ecommerce order fulfillment to really boost your deliveries. Their processes, their manpower, and their warehousing could be just what you need to deliver on-demand products on time.
- Improve your website’s infrastructure for processing orders. Invest in a good web host to prevent system failure. In addition, make sure that the web forms that customers fill out are well-designed and easy to answer. Don’t allow customers to push through with orders if any vital details, such as their contact numbers, are missing.
- Keep your warehouse organized. An organized and well-stocked warehouse matters a lot in the delivery process. If it’s not easy for the staff to move around, find items, and pack them, then it won’t be easy for your company to ship out all orders on time. Do provide a layout of the warehouse to your staff, clear the aisles of any obstructions, and fix your shelving system if it needs improvement. In addition, if stocks for a popular item are depleted, restock as soon as possible. Don’t give your customer the displeasure of seeing that the item they want is out of stock.
- Adapt your delivery protocols for both peak seasons and for bad weather conditions. Let customers know if it will be harder than usual to make a timely delivery. Let them know on your website, your thank-you page, or through email that the holiday season may slow the pace of delivery. In case of weather issues, send email notifications, text them, or call them directly to inform them of the circumstances. This is better than leaving your customers completely in the dark.
Hopefully, you’ll have achieved an understanding of what causes delivery delays and how to respond to the most common delivery issues. Taking this advice should keep your ecommerce business competitive, and your customers happy about their deliveries.