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E‐Commerce » Tips & Facts, Best Practice | 29.02.2016

How to reduce delivery issues and keep customers happy

Did you know that delivery issues are the biggest cause of lost repeat custom? People can be happy with a product, but they're unlikely to place a second order if their first wasn't delivered as expected. Delivery issues include:

  • damaged packaging
  • damaged products
  • late/delayed deliveries
  • lost parcels
  • rude delivery drivers
  • parcels left in incorrect places

Customers have been known to make complaints to delivery companies because their parcels have been left out in the rain, left in view of neighbours, and in one case in 2014, been thrown onto the roof of a customer's house! It's also all too common for parcels to be thrown into bins for 'safekeeping', when that bin is out for the rubbish truck and ends up being emptied, complete with the parcel!

You can't necessarily control every aspect of parcel delivery from the moment a product leaves your warehouse to the moment it arrives in the customer's hands, but when delivery really matter, how can you reduce delivery issues?

1. Use fulfilment services

Particularly useful if you're shipping internationally, fulfilment companies can store your products on your behalf and can dispatch them when you make a sale. Customers can have products delivered straight from their own country, so that they arrive quickly, and won't need to worry about customs charges or long waits. Fulfilment companies can also be used to minimise your work or to reduce the space that you need to store your stock - all you need to do is make a sale, and someone else can send your products on their way.

2. Check up on your delivery company

Make sure that you check that your products are being delivered as expected. Bear in mind that unhappy customers will probably complain to the delivery company rather than you, but they're unlikely to buy from your company again if they've has a negative experience. Include a note in order confirmation emails to thank your customer for choosing your product, and ask them to report any issues directly to you.

3. Offer multiple delivery options

If your standard delivery option is likely to take a few days, consider offering your customers the option to pay more for next day delivery. You'll increase sales by catering to impatient shoppers and those in need of fast delivery, and can also better deter complaints if people are left waiting for couple of days and haven't paid for your fastest option.