How to avoid delivery delays is a important question. Ever since the advent of e-commerce, the ease of doing business has increased tremendously. As a businessperson, you do not have to own or rent a physical store in order to do business. Your e-commerce website serves as your online store. Additionally, consumers no longer need to visit brick and mortar shops to purchase their preferred products. They can do it from the comfort of their homes and have the products delivered to their doorsteps.
Starting an e-commerce venture has it challenges. One of the challenges is that business owners must be ready to provide delivery services to their customers. However, the main shortcoming comes in the form of delivery times. Can online businesses handle the stringent delivery times that customers want? Avoiding delivery delays can make a big difference in realizing customer satisfaction and eventually enhancing the growth of your business.
What causes delivery delays?
To understand how to avoid delivery delays, you need to establish what causes these delays. A number of businesses often face difficulties in delivering goods to their customers, promptly. Sometimes, the reason for a delayed delivery is partly due to a customer’s mistake. However, in most cases, an e-commerce retailer is often to blame for delivery delays. Whatever the case, here are some common causes of delivery delays:
- Documentation Mistakes – These include misspelled addresses, incorrectly completed order forms, and insufficient information among others. This mistake may emanate from the clients or the retailer. Sometimes the retailer fails to document orders properly, especially when handling numerous tasks at the same time. When a delivery company is supplied with insufficient information, chances are that the package will not reach the consumer at all.
- System Failure – E-commerce businesses often operate on a 24/7 basis. However, if your business relies on a bad hosting company, chances are that your website may experience technical problems. You will not be able to respond to orders if you are experiencing frequent system failures. This will subsequently lead to delivery delays.
- Logistical Problems – Logistical problems can be a nightmare to small businesses. In fact, logistics top the list as one of the reasons for delivery delays. The inability to handle high demand for products and numerous orders may prove to be an Achilles heel. When faced with such a situation, it becomes imperative for an online business to outsource its delivery services.
- Bad Weather – Mother Nature may hinder quick delivery of products to customers. Bad weather such as heavy snow, hailstorms and foggy conditions can play a part in causing delivery delays. This is definitely beyond the delivery agent, but should not be an excuse for late delivery.
Impact of delivery delays on your business
The causes of delivery delays are numerous, and not limited to the aforementioned reasons. Delivery delays can greatly affect your e-commerce business, negatively. Businesses that do not act to mitigate delivery problems often experience a drop in sales. Most customers are genuine and understanding. They know that human error can lead to delivery problems. However, if they experience delivery delays on more than one or two occasions, then they are likely to lose trust in your business. Remember, the reputation of your business is at stake. Therefore, it is imperative that you deal with delay issues promptly.
Delivery time is directly connected to customer retention. Customers who experience a delivery delay when ordering for the first time are unlikely to order again from the same company. Late delivery also affects your loyal customers. They are likely to take a considerable amount of time before ordering again. You can imagine how big an impact this can have on your profits, as well as on your reputation. This explains why some e-commerce businesses are so successful, while others are lagging behind in terms of growth. If you cannot manage prompt deliveries, it is advisable that you enlist the services of a fulfillment company.
Avoiding delivery delays
You can use a variety of strategies to avoid delivery delays. These include:
Set a Minimum/Maximum
Delivery TimeSetting a minimum delivery time will allow you to attend to your orders incisively. Delivery time should be realistic in the sense that you will not put yourself under pressure to deliver. On the other hand, your shipping time should not be discouraging to the customer. When customers place orders, they do so hoping to receive their products in good time.
Update Your Inventory
RegularlyIt is obvious that some of your products are more popular. For this reason, you should update your inventory regularly to replace products that have already been delivered. It would be so frustrating for a customer to order a product that does not exist in your inventory.
Prepare Your Warehouse
As your business grows, you will realize more orders. Always prepare your warehouse in such a way that it is easy to dispatch products to their respective destinations. Start by arranging the most popular products first, followed by the less popular ones.
Acquire Automated Logistic Software
Automation can go a long way in reducing delivery times. Although it might be expensive to acquire automated logistic software, it will help you avoid delivery delays. Automated software determines what products should be dispatched according to their order times.
Prepare for the holidays
Businesses often witness increased orders and sales during the holidays. Unfortunately, most couriers do not work during public holidays. Therefore, you should make alternative arrangements to deliver orders in good time. To avoid delivery delays, always dispatch your orders before the public holidays commence.
Enlist a Fulfillment Service
Enlisting the services of a fulfillment company is the most viable way of avoiding delivery delays. A fulfillment service is a third-party company that handles warehousing, packaging and delivery of orders on behalf of your e-commerce business. Hiring a Fulfillment service has numerous benefits. It lowers operating costs, improves business focus, improves scalability and above all, eliminates delivery delays. By hiring a fulfillment service, you do not have to purchase automation software neither do you need to worry about delivering goods during public holidays.
Indeed, the best way to avoid delivery delays is to employ a fulfillment service like Logistiko. Logistiko is a company that provides fulfillment and logistics services. By working with Logistiko, you do not have to worry about delivery times. You can rest assured that all your goods will be delivered to respective customers, promptly. As you focus on your sales, Logistiko focuses on your packaging. The company provides warehousing, packaging and delivery of orders, all in one roof.