5 Costly Delivery Mistakes Every eCommerce Retailer Should Avoid 


5 Costly Delivery Mistakes Every eCommerce Retailer Should Avoid 

The global retail e-commerce market is booming, with more than USD 5.7 trillion generated in sales in 2022, and projections expect the figure to reach about USD 8.1 trillion by 2026. As the global parcel volume skyrockets across all geographies and eCommerce penetrates tier-3 cities and villages across the globe, the cost variables associated with different operations assume a dire stance. 

While a single parcel return can cost as much as 66% of the original item price (Bloom Group), 72% of customers can switch brands after one negative experience (Business Wire). Hence, eCommerce retailers need to manage the delicate balance between costs and customer satisfaction precisely and proactively and steer clear of some often overlooked costly delivery mistakes. Let’s take a quick look at five such costly delivery mistakes, their impact on operations, and the ways businesses can avoid them.

Not Offering Delivery and Scheduling Options

A recent study reveals that 70% of customers seek delivery flexibility, which means not offering options for delivery and delivery scheduling can make retailers miss out on opportunities to delight their customers. Enabling customers to schedule their deliveries not only offers delivery flexibility but also improves the rate of first-attempt deliveries

Further, enabling their customers with multiple delivery options, such as curbside pickups, in-store pickups, delivery during office hours, etc., elevates the overall customer experience. Intelligent delivery management solutions come with in-built automation for delivery orchestration that empowers retailers with diverse functionalities, such as delivery scheduling, multiple delivery options, and robust customer communication for improved last mile movements. 

Lack of Direct Rider-Customer Communication for Last-Minute Disruptions

In the world of instant gratification, last-minute disruptions can occur unexpectedly. Not having a direct communication channel between your delivery personnel and customers can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction. The inability to connect with the customer can render riders clueless about the next course of action in case the customer is unavailable to receive the order or arrive at the wrong address. 

Such situations lead to multiple types of escalations, such as delivery re-attempts, failed deliveries, unnecessary RTOs, and much-feared customer dissatisfaction. 

Retailers can easily remedy them by leveraging delivery management solutions that offer safe, secure, and reliable means of communication for riders and end customers. Such solutions offer in-built functionalities in the rider apps, such as chat and calls with the customer via masked numbers, an option for adding delivery instructions for the customers, and one-click delivery options, such as – don’t press the bell, call at a specific number, etc. 

All these features resolve last-minute disruptions effortlessly and improve customer experience, rider experience, delivery reliability, and success rates. 

Not Having Automated Validation Checks

Fraudulent actions marked by the riders, such as failed delivery, fake delivery attempts, idling, fraudulent returns, etc., directly affect the bottom line of the retailers. They have to deal with unnecessary costs as well as customer dissatisfaction. Hence, not having automated validation checks for rider actions in the rider apps or otherwise is one of the major mistakes that can incur significant costs to retailers. 

Advanced delivery management solutions come with smart validation checks in the rider apps, such as offering a list of specific options to the rider before proceeding with the next task, automatic checking of the rider’s location via geofencing, options to add images of the odometer before starting the next task, etc.

These solutions also offer highly comprehensive end-customer feedback management where retailers can easily collect customer feedback in real-time for actions marked by the driver in the app, such as delivery denied, attempted delivery, wrong delivery, etc. Such capabilities ensure tight control and granular monitoring in real time and help prevent loss.

Underestimating Returns Management

Returns are an integral part of eCommerce, and neglecting an efficient returns management process can impact customer trust and operational efficiency. While unnecessary returns come as overhead operational costs, the inability to offer effortless and reliable returns can lead to direct customer churn.

Ensuring successful, safe, and reliable returns that don’t eat away at the bottom line requires thorough management of all the tasks and events related to returns, from offering multiple return options to return pickups, consolidation, and reconciliation. Achieving all this in a manually or disparately managed delivery ecosystem is impossible. Hence, investing in a SaaS platform that ensures hassle-free and well-communicated returns, aligning with a brand’s promise of a truly seamless shopping experience, is crucial.

Neglecting Integration of Operations

Disconnected operations can lead to inefficiencies and fragmented customer experiences. Failing to integrate your eCommerce platform, logistics operations, customer and vendor management, shipment lifecycle management, etc., can result in mismanaged orders, poor CX, and ultimately, loss of business. 

Leveraging smart eCommerce delivery management platforms that come with versatile functionalities, such as order management, carrier and vehicle management, rider management, customer management, analytics and reporting, and real-time management capabilities, can transform delivery operations. Retailers can integrate the platforms with multiple third parties and offer a truly seamless and effortless sell-buy-return experience.

As the eCommerce landscape continues to evolve, avoiding these five delivery mistakes is pivotal for maintaining customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and operational excellence. However, this would require a highly robust and smart suite of technology-powered features that can ensure integrated management of delivery processes. 

By focusing on diverse delivery options, direct rider-customer communication, automated validation checks, efficient returns management, and seamless integration of operations, CXOs, retailers, and eCommerce businesses can build a resilient and customer-centric delivery strategy. Prioritizing a smooth and reliable delivery experience will not only retain customers but also position the business for sustained success in the competitive eCommerce market.


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