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Shipping Tips & Solutions

How to Fix and Prevent a Late Delivery

Shoppers shun brands that deliver late. Here's how to ship on time, all the time.
How to Fix and Prevent a Late Delivery
Ian Heinig

By Ian Heinig

 

August 5, 2021

Late delivery isn’t always your fault, but it always hits you hardest. From added support costs to reputational damage to churn, late delivery is just bad news. 30% of consumers report they are less likely to purchase from an online retailer that failed to deliver on time.

Plus, 60% of respondents said they will abandon a merchant if two or more deliveries don’t arrive on time. Needless to say, businesses should work to minimize late deliveries. That’s where Easyship comes in to save the day.

Easyship gives users full visibility of their shipments with automated messages and branded tracking, so you rest assured about your shipment. As an added bonus, you’ll save up to 70% discounted shipping rates on 250+ courier services.

This blog will give you the full rundown on how to fix and prevent late deliveries, so you can have some peace of mind about the whereabouts of your shipments.

Table of Contents

What Causes Shipping Delays?

Fulfillment is where online shopping meets the real world, and things go sideways when these two worlds collide.

Of those surveyed, 3 in 4 online shoppers said they experienced at least one late delivery in the past year. Shipping delays can occur for many reasons, including:

1. Pandemic courier issues

The pandemic has squeezed the capacity of couriers and resulted in slower deliveries. Persistent safety measures are partly to blame but the main culprit is eCommerce. FedEx, for example, saw a 35% increase in business-to-consumer (B2C) deliveries in the wake of the pandemic.

The global surge in parcel shipping has forced courier services to suspend delivery date guarantees on certain services. Unfortunately, most shoppers don’t accept Covid-19 issues as an excuse for late delivery.

2. Peak season

Retailers took around 1.5 days longer than average to fulfill orders during the 2020 holiday season. Forecasts indicate that holiday eCommerce sales in 2021 will surpass last year by 10-15%.

Plan for peak season fulfillment, or risk late deliveries that disappoint customers and, in turn, drive up returns. On the other hand, Easyship will connect you to our shipping experts to tailor a shipping and fulfillment strategy fit for your eCommerce needs.

3. Inclement weather

Customers expect timely delivery. Thing is, courier drivers are subject to increasingly volatile weather patterns that disrupt delivery routes. Though inclement weather can be unpredictable, there’s not much that can be done so your package can arrive on time.

4. Stock issues

Lack of visibility around inventory is a direct cause of shipping delays. The most common example is selling items that are actually out of stock. These issues can be remedied by using inventory management best practices.

Alternatively, Easyship gives customers full visibility of their shipments with automated messages so shipping can be hassle-free. Plus, users save up to 70% discounted shipping rates on 250+ couriers.

5. Slow fulfillment

Many brands lack a formal fulfillment strategy. When order volume surges, then, it’s no surprise that some orders don’t arrive on time. Creating an effective fulfillment protocol is vital for on-time deliveries and processing returns in a cost-effective and timely fashion.

Scale your business globally by utilizing our global fulfillment partners. You’ll lower costs and save time, especially for international shipping. To learn more, connect with our shipping experts to supercharge your shipping.

Related source: The 4 Most Common eCommerce Delivery Issues.

7 Ways on How to Avoid Late Delivery

Is your package delayed? This can happen with all courier services, even FedEx or UPS. Here are a handful of ways to put the kibosh on shipping delays before, during, and after you ship.

Before: Use Address verification

Address verification is an eCommerce cart feature that ensures the delivery address is correct so the postal worker can deliver the package on time. According to Loqate, 41% of deliveries are delayed when an address is entered inaccurately.

Address verification, otherwise known as address validation, double checks that the address entered matches the address on file with the courier. When an address is entered incorrectly, the software prompts the customer to fix it.

As seen below, Nike uses address verification software to help us complete checkout.

Nike Address Verification Software

Address verification software is common in eCommerce because it’s effective at reducing delays and improving conversions. At the end of the day, customers want timely delivery. With Easyship, you get address verification software for your cart and full visibility of your shipments.

Now, you can prevent failed delivery attempts with Easyship easily. Our shipping experts are here to help every step of the way.

Before: Maintain inventory visibility

Whenever a customer orders an item you don’t have in stock, you risk losing that customer. After all, the customer will surely be disappointed at the delivery delay.

Keep an accurate tally of your inventory to avoid delays caused by low inventory. Counting errors, storage issues, and outstanding returns can all skew your numbers. That’s why periodic inventory counts can help you take a precise count.

Part of effective inventory management is predicting when you need to order more items to stay stocked up. In other words, you need to find your reorder point. This way, you can avoid delivery delays because your stock is replenished before it runs out.

For more information, learn how to calculate reorder points here.

Before: Offer expedited shipping

Delivery is never fast enough for certain shoppers. For example, 51% of shoppers between the age of 18-34 say they expect to have access to same-day shipping. You can offer expedited shipping options to appease your speed-obsessed shoppers.

Rates at Checkout is an Easyship feature that lets you display three real-time courier rates in checkout – the fastest, the cheapest, and a best-value option. This automated tool has been shown to boost conversions and customer satisfaction by allowing shoppers to rush delivery if desired.

Automated Shipping Tool to Rush Delivery

Before: Create an efficient fulfillment flow

An efficient fulfillment process is essential to avoid late deliveries. The more efficient your fulfillment, the less likely you are to ship items late. This is especially important during the holidays or an unexpected spike in returns.

All you need is to write out a detailed flow for your fulfillment process, from picking to labeling to shipping. This is where Easyship can help. Our team of shipping experts can help you create a fulfillment strategy your customers will love.

During: Be Proactive with Customers

If a shipment is delayed or lost, be swift and authentic in your response to customers. Track down the package, offer assurances, and tell the buyer what you’ll do to make it right.

To compensate for a tardy shipment, you can offer freebies, a discount on future purchases, or offer to rush-deliver a replacement item for free. It costs much more to acquire a customer than to retain a customer, so fast and thorough support always pays dividends.

After: File for compensation

If you used a delivery-guaranteed shipping service and your shipment was delayed, you can file for a refund of your postage fees. Courier services offer delivery guarantees for express but not on economy services like ground.

If your shipment is delayed, check to see if you can get a refund. Many courier services have suspended their delivery guarantees, so it’s doubly important to check before paying extra for a day-definite service.

What if your shipment is lost? Many courier services including economy or standard shipping include some amount of insurance protection. For example, USPS Priority Mail includes $50 shipping insurance.

Instead, file an insurance claim in seconds via Easyship's new and upgraded insurance claims portal or your courier website.

After: Consider a fulfillment partner

If your late deliveries stem from a bottleneck in fulfillment, consider using a fulfillment center. A third-party fulfillment center (3PL) is a facility that stores and fulfills orders on your behalf. Partnering with a 3PL can help you accelerate deliveries by shipping items from a distribution hub near your customers.

Do you have a big customer base in Los Angeles, but you’re based in NYC? No worries. Rather than paying for rush shipping to the West Coast, you can store some of your inventory with an LA-based fulfillment center. Any West-bound orders are handled by your partner. Delivery is faster because of the center’s proximity to your buyers. Meanwhile, your shipping rates cost less because it’s local delivery.

For help connecting with a trustworthy fulfillment center, ask Easyship’s fulfillment experts for some free guidance.

How Easyship Can Help

Late deliveries happen in eCommerce but they don’t have to derail your business. You can mitigate the risk by implementing efficient fulfillment and inventory management processes to handle upticks in shipment volume.

Connect with Easyship to streamline your shipping and fulfillment process. Get full visibility on your orders so you can have a stress-free shipping experience. We offer tools like live rates in checkout and address verification to help you preemptively avoid delays.

Plus, Easyship helps manage a delivery experience consistent with your brand. Our automated shipping labels and up to 70% off discounted shipping rates on 250+ courier services are some of the reasons customers choose Easyship.

Want to try Easyship for free? Create your free account and sign up today

Shipping Delays FAQ

How late in the day can I receive a UPS package?

UPS packages are delivered anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. or by the end of the day. Though, packages can be delivered as late as 10 p.m. in some cases.


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