5 Shipping Fails That Ruin Brands (And How To Avoid Them)

We love a good story at the Shippit office, so let us know if this sounds familiar:

Everything is going great, sales are streaming through the door, you’re shipping orders on time, one 5 star review after another and you couldn’t have a bigger smile on your face, until…….it happens.

You remember the first Facebook notification when the moment happened. It couldn’t have been more devastating…. One of your customers lambasted your business to their whole network because their delivery didn’t make it on time! And to top it off, they have thousands of followers and their post has hundreds of likes and comments. 

And it wasn’t just one review, oh no! Like a line of domino’s acquiescing to the next, suddenly your Facebook page is filled with angry customers distraught about their unsatisfactory delivery experience.

“You ruined my child’s birthday!”

“I needed my delivery for my new job interview. Thanks for stressing me out even more!”

 

If this has happened to you, what you might not realise is that, while you’re like this:

One does not simply send more than one package

 

Customers are like this:

Customers waiting on delivery

Customers absolutely hate late deliveries, so much so that they will boycott an online seller that is notorious for late deliveries. It’s easy for customers to get emotionally riled because a lot of consumers have had nightmare experiences. This post is your guide to avoiding disappointing customers so you don’t have to deal with the stressful experience of dealing with negative social media comments. Shippit’s got your back! 

Challenge #1: Poor Tracking Updates

We’ve seen this happen again and again. Customers need to be updated when their delivery is ready for despatch, en route, and when it’s picked up by the driver. You saw how patiently Joe Biden was waiting, right? Well, that’s your customer! 

Many customers will fret if they’re not given regular updates. If they’re not notified about the status of their delivery, they’ll assume it’s going to arrive late and will start to post on social media about how unimpressed they are. 

 

Challenge #2: Frightening shipping costs at checkout

Remember this stat: 60% of customers will abandon cart if they’re not offered free shipping. 20% of Australian retailers still don’t offer a free delivery option. That’s a lot of lost sales. 

Customers love free shipping, so much so that they’re willing to wait for items to arrive 5-12 days later, over collecting it in store. If you’re not offering your customers a free shipping option, they’ll start looking for retailers that do offer the items they want without having to cough up extra cash for shipping. 

 

Challenge #3: Shipping the wrong item

There’s nothing worse than making a customer wait for their delivery than delivering an item out of the required time-frame AND shipping the wrong items. Most customers are understanding, after all, we’re all reasonable human’s willing to forgive an error or two. 

But you are literally playing with fire if you ship wrong items. This is the biggest inconvenience for customers. They’ll have to go to the Post Office to ship the items back to you, and then wait another week or so to get the item back. Even if they don’t complain and seem happy to wait, they’ll remember. They will remember. 

 

Challenge #4: Couriers didn’t ring the bell….and they were home

Nothing grinds our gears more than when we’re at home waiting on a delivery, only to find a “sorry we missed you” card in the mailbox. If you can relate, then this is how your customers feel but 10x worse. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid this. Some couriers, in some areas, simply don’t want to spend the time delivering orders to each home. 

If this is happening to your customers, you need to make sure you provide courier services that don’t do this. Seek customer feedback on their deliveries, and make sure you action their feedback so you don’t lose customers to something seemingly out of your control. 

 

Challenge #5: Inflexible returns

Online returns are becoming increasingly complex for retailers to manage. And for good reason. 

Customers are wont to return items worn, out of the required return date, and they often return items for a change of mind, just because. 

These are very real challenges for retailers. But because of these reasons, the return process for online orders is becoming inflexible and rigid. 

Online shopping for customers means convenient and risk-free choice. Customers hold the right to return if they decide they don’t want the item. Figuring this out is tough because each business will have different return requirements. It’s something to think about though because 92% of customers skim online return policies before they purchase. 

 

And that’s it! There’s not secret to keeping customers happy, but a little goes a really, really, really long way. You can see that within this list of 5 shipping fails there are things that are both in our control and out of our control. 

 

Try to minimise all the errors that are in your control:

  • Use a shipping solution that automates shipping updates
  • Be transparent abut shipping costs
  • Use pick lists and packing slips to avoid shipping the wrong items (read more about this here)
  • Use courier services that your customers are happy about (read more about Shippit’s customer satisfaction report here)
  • Offer a seamless return process when customers do get frustrated by their experience

 

Know when things are out of your control, but do your best by your customers:

  • So the customer said they were home when the delivery attempt failed? Start offering authority to leave
  • Tracking updates aren’t accurate – but it’s the couriers fault? Use a shipping solution like Shippit to always send the most updated shipping alerts
  • Shipping delays are inevitable – but they don’t have to be frustrating. Shippit has automatic delivery delay avoidance technology that alerts couriers that aren’t meeting their SLA’s. Read more about Shippit’s feature’s here

 

Ready to take control more control of your deliveries? With Shippit, you’ll have access to the shipping features you need to slash customer inbound complaints, while offering them faster and cheaper shipping options. Create a free Shippit account and test it for yourself.