E-Commerce Basics: Avoid Delivery Delays with These 5 Strategies

Item deliveries can make or break an e-commerce business. Timely and accurate delivery of products assures customers that they can expect consistent, quality service when ordering items from the company’s website.

On the other hand, a record of delays is a huge business headache. Customers who receive their item late may choose not to order again from the same business. What’s worse, they may leave a negative review or rant about their experience on social media. As a result, the company’s reputation and bottom line will take a hit.

As an e-commerce business owner, you need to go beyond selling high-quality products. You must be ready to provide prompt delivery service to your customers. According to a consumer study published in Retail TouchPoints, 63 percent of online shoppers say that a three-day delivery period is the standard. Your company should do its best to meet delivery expectations to achieve and maintain customer satisfaction.

Here are suggestions to help you manage your product deliveries more effectively:

  1. Hire a Fulfillment Service Provider

Working with a fulfillment and logistics company will help you avoid delays in product delivery. This third-party firm can lend a helping hand with warehousing, packaging, and shipping orders.

Enlisting the help of a fulfillment service provider has many benefits. A fulfillment company can help reduce operating expenses, improve business scalability, and boost your revenue.

  1. Understand the Common Causes of Delivery Delays

Before you make drastic changes to your company’s delivery or shipping processes, you need to have a solid understanding of why delays happen. Although there may dozens of reasons behind this problem, here are some common ones that you may come across in your e-commerce operations:

  • Issues at Customs – E-commerce companies that source international goods have a likelihood of encountering problems at customs. This could be due to incomplete or incorrect documents. Make sure to double-check the important details before dispatching.
  • Website Problems – Many e-commerce businesses operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your website experiences technical problems, you may not be able to process or respond to orders quickly. Get a reliable hosting provider and contact your domain providers in the event of website downtime.
  • Errors in Customer Address Information – Incomplete or misspelled address may prevent the ordered product from reaching the recipient. When designing an online ordering form, require customers to provide a correct and complete delivery address.
  • Change of Address Requests – Sometimes, customers ask for a change in the delivery address after completing the online ordering process, but before the warehouse team ships the product. Changing the address submitted in the system may result in a different delivery or shipping time. Make sure to inform customers about the possible ramifications when they request a delivery address change after ordering.
  1. Keep Your Warehouse or Distribution Center Organized

An organized and well-stocked facility is crucial to the product delivery process. You want warehouse employees to move around easily, find the items ordered by your customers, pack them and ship them out on time.

Here are a few tips to keep this important e-commerce facility neat and organized:

  • Give copies of the warehouse’s floor layout to your staff
  • Keep the aisles clear of any liquids, debris and obstructions
  • Fix the shelving system to make item retrieval and storage easier for your employees
  1. Restock Your Popular Items

Some products may be popular than others. Also, public events may make some merchandise popular. If Marvel Studios, for instance, releases another Avengers-related movie, you may find the demand for superhero merchandise, like Captain America’s shield toys, to rise.

Before a popular item runs out, restock it as soon as possible. Never give your online shoppers the displeasure of finding out that the product they want is out of stock.

  1. Adapt Delivery Protocols for Peak Seasons and Inclement Weather Conditions

Inform your customers if a timely delivery won’t be possible due to high customer demand. Send them an email or post an announcement on your e-commerce website.

Also, keep your customer updated should weather problems affect the timeline of your product deliveries. Send them a text message or an email about the weather event and its effect on the shipping or delivery time. Although you can’t control these unfortunate events, you can control how you respond to these circumstances. Informing your customers about the weather issues is better than keeping them in the dark about the delivery situation.

These suggestions will help you prevent delivery delays that could negatively affect your reputation and bottom line. Although shipping and delivery aren’t revenue-generating processes, you shouldn’t make the mistake of overlooking them. After all, prompt deliveries are crucial to the growth of your customer base and bottom line.


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