When running a business, you may do 99 things right for your customer, but one thing is wrong, you may end up losing them. Unfortunately, this one thing is a shipping delay more often than not. After everything that you’ve done in marketing your product, driving your customer to your website and getting them to shop, a delay from your shipping carriers can be infuriating for the customer.
While delays by shipping carriers are a regular occurrence, we need to understand what causes them, how they affect your business, and how one can successfully craft solutions.
Read on to know five tips that can help you tackle delays in ecommerce shipping.
Before Reading the complete blog just look at the How iThink Logistics Fixes Order Pickup Delays
Common causes of ecommerce shipping delays
Global shipping carriers or domestic ones, the expectation of on-time ecommerce shipping is still met with challenges. And the reasons for them are many.
The most common reasons for delay cited by shipping carriers are unavoidable situations like bad weather or calamity, a human error in the warehouse or on-site, confusion in transit, interstate or international customs, overflow of orders in a limited amount of time, and poor coordination.
No matter the reason, each shipping delay costs you an angry or a lost customer. This can have an adverse effect that costs you no-repeat orders and no word of mouth publicity or worse, a bad review.
One bad review on your website can deter hundreds of customers from considering you over a competitor. One bad review from a famous personality or an influencer can cost you thousands of lost customers.
More than anything, it completely crushes the brand perception that the customer has built-in their mind. No matter how good the product, how good the deal, and how good the packaging, a shipping delay, especially a long one, can completely ruin a customer’s attitude towards your business.
5 Ways to deal with shipping delays
It is infuriating to wait in the heat for a friend to pick you up, and they don’t answer their phone. Just like that, a customer feels when their order is delayed without any notice. Keeping the customer informed may not douse the fire entirely but can reduce the flames.
Ecommerce shipping delays have existed from the time online shopping has existed. Therefore customers are accustomed to shipping delays but within reason. A delay of a few hours or, for that matter, a day may not be as bad as a delay of over 48 hours to one week.
However, informing the customer via an SMS, email, or even through your Whatsapp Business Account can alleviate the situation.
Partner with multiple shipping carriers
It is a classic act of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Sounds expensive, but if done tactfully, it isn’t. A bad weather day is out of your hands. But what is in your hand is a backup. For example, your shipping company may be facing internal shipping delays due to many problems like lack of infrastructure, overflow of orders, lack of human resources, etc.
In such times, your other shipping partner can pick up the pace and keep the business going. It prepares you for a day when even if one shipping partner cannot operate well, the other one can still do its bit. In this way, you are already cutting losses and not making all your customers angry.
Another suggestion can be to keep two separate shipping partners – Global shipping carriers for international deliveries and domestic carriers for pan-India deliveries.
Trackers for the win
Not having the privilege to touch and feel a product while shopping online is already something that the customers have unwillingly made peace with. But not knowing where their order is at a particular point in time is irritating. This is where real-time tracking or tracking updates come to the rescue. To get their customers to keep calm about ecommerce shipping delays, they are given an order ID and a tracking number. When entered on a particular link (your professional tracker), both tell them where their order is, i.e. at what stage it is currently in.
E.g., Order confirmation—>Order fulfilled—-> Arrived at distribution centre—->Awaiting dispatch.
Retailers have also started sending messages on Whatsapp about the stage of their purchase. Case in point: Ecommerce giant Nykaa sends updates on Whatsapp over and above emails and text messages to keep the customer updated. Above all, trackers help people order in advance going forth and have peace of mind.
Pacify with offers
This is damage control 101. When things go awry, keep exciting offers and discounts handy to diffuse the situation and not lose out on a customer. Shipping carriers may not be concerned with how your customer feels over a shipping delay.
But you are. Beyond communicating the delay clearly, soothing them with offers can go long. E.g., xyz% off on your next purchase of the same product, a gift being sent with an apology letter, the option to get a complete refund with no return and handling charges, a cashback on their order for the shipping delay, free shipping on their next order, etc.
It will make the customer feel more valued and humanize your brand in their mind, which is a great thing to do, especially when online shopping lacks a human touch.
Partner with a third-party logistics provider
Marketing is one thing, and fulfilment is another. Outsourcing the task of fulfilling entirely may work in your favour. Partnering with a third-party logistics provider saves you time, money, and, most importantly, the hassles of dealing with shipping carriers. A third-party logistics provider offers end-to-end services.
The moment a customer places an order, and you confirm it is where your role ends, and the role of the logistics provider begins. They will be responsible for packing your order, labelling it, transporting it to the distribution centre, and ensuring that it reaches the customer in proper condition and on time.
Their network, manpower, and fleet of vehicles work to their advantage. Having a single operator deal with all the stages is more efficient than having different vendors coordinate. It Will automatically reduce shipping delays. In fact, in this way, you also have more accountability. Instead of managing delays at the stage, questioning the vendor, you have to go to your logistics provider for an answer to your every query.
Choosing a third-party logistics partner has to be thought through because if you don’t trust them, things can worsen. While trust is one factor, real-time updates and taking responsibility for shipment non-delivery are also essential.
Here is where iThink Logistics can come in as just the shipping partner you are looking for. From constant tracking of the package to non-delivery and reattempted deliveries to keeping the manufacturer informed at every stage, iThink Logistics is dependable.
Taking care of a supply chain isn’t easy, and iThink Logistics does it with the power of AI. With a dedicated NDR team, quick response, and efficiency, you are saved several panic calls from your customers.