According to a research by A.T. Kearney, nearly a quarter of internet users in North America say that three days is an acceptable timeframe for e-commerce order shipping. But, if possible, 79% of consumers would choose delivery via drone if that meant they could receive packages within an hour. Customers like fast shipping. They will go elsewhere, with a competitor if they have to, in order to get it.

Assume that you have chosen the right shipping companies and they make quick turnaround delivery possible, but that’s still not the end. Delivery issues can happen due to certain circumstances such as:

– Documentation mistakes. These include misspelled addresses, incorrectly completed order forms, and insufficient information.

– System failure. Technical problems due to the hosting company.

– Logistical problems. Unable to handle the high demand for products and numerous orders. When face with this situation, most businesses choose to hire shipping companies.

– Bad weather. For example, heavy snow, hailstorms, foggy conditions…

And those are only the commons one. Even if it’s not your fault, the consumers will still blame you and they won’t be likely to come back for another purchase. More importantly, unhappy customers might post about the experience online; therefore cause your brand to suffer a bad reputation.

What can you do to manage these shipping scenarios, and prevent them from happening? Here are 5 tips that work!


A shipping delay notification email from Lootwear

Let your customers know about the problem with a customized, timely message helps them to plan ahead – and, most importantly, feel valued. Try to update them with the accurate, real-time delivery status.

In case the customers contact you about their order, before answering them, take time to look at tracking details so you can tell the customer what happened. The reports will tell the exact time a package was delivered and, if applicable, who signed for the shipment. Consider contacting your logistics companies if needed.

Consider installing apps and/or plugins

One of Shopify’s apps for shipping

What if a customer orders five items, but you only have three of them available in stock? Yes, this is the sign that your business is doing well, but selling more products than you anticipated can be a curse. In this case, you can use apps and/or plugins that:

– Inform you when remaining items come to a warehouse, so you can tell the shipping companies to deliver them right away.

– Notify the customers once your sold out products are available again.

There are other cases that apps and plugins can come in handy, for example when you need to make sure shipping area restrictions and rules applied perfectly.

Enlist fulfillment services

A fulfillment service is a third-party company that handles warehousing, packaging, and delivery of orders on behalf of your business. The benefits are:

– reduce the amount of work

– lowers operating costs

– improves business focus and scalability

– no need to purchase automation software or worry about delivering goods during public holidays.

Fulfillment service is especially useful if you’re shipping internationally. For example, if you are an U.S.-based business who has Canadian customers, then hire a shipping company in Canada. Voilà, no more customs charges or long waits!

Update your inventory

Some of your products can be more famous than others. In order to make sure these best-sellers are always available whenever a customer makes an order, you should update your inventory regularly.

Another thing to keep updated with is the public holidays’ schedule. Businesses love the holidays because of the increase in orders and sales, but all too often they forget that most courier services aren’t available during these days.

Use a special calculator

Sometimes it’s hard to calculate shipping costs correctly

Let’s say you sell peanut butter and jelly. The shipping cost for peanut butter is $10, and $5 for jelly. If a customer orders either one of these separately, everything is charged accordingly. Easy!

But if you sell these two items as a bundle but still ship separately, the customer might incorrectly be charged $15. This is where you need a special calculator. Customers should only pay the delivery cost of the most expensive item ($10) as it will cover everything.

Credit images: Hello SubscriptionShopify App Store.

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