Missing a delivery date is a terrible sin in the online retail business. Customers are ruthless; unforgiving of the smallest slip, unwilling to let things go. If you delay delivering a parcel on time, instant reviews and ratings spring up on the internet detailing your inefficiency. To prevent such unpleasantries, it is wise to deliver parcels on time. Sometimes there are unforeseen delays, like a transport strike or errors at the courier company. Some of these roadblocks are out of your control. However, there are some things that you can control.

Apart from having a well-stocked warehouse, sufficient packaging material in stock and updated inventory, here are some good practises you can follow to minimise delays:

Give yourself buffer time

Rather than over promising and falling short, assume delays and add a day or two more to the standard delivery time. If you can ship a product from Delhi to Bangalore in three working days, put it down as five working days. This is a win-win situation. Your customer will expect the product only after five working days, so everything going well, you will be able to deliver before the promised time. In case there is any delay and it takes a day or two more, you haven’t anything to lose, because you undertook to reach it in five days. This gives you a reputation of a company that delivers before time.

Sign up for a good logistics software

This will help monitor your orders, print labels and in general, create a systematic process. Software like Browntape help streamline the process of managing orders and shipping them.

Print the address clearly

Ensure that you don’t misspell or miss out any detail. This way you can avoid all error from your side. Recheck the name and critical data like apartment name and street name. Particularly if the order is pre-paid, you don’t want the parcel going to the wrong address.

Keep the journey of the consignment transparent

The customer should be able to track the parcel’s journey at any point. You can also send SMS updates to customers on the parcel’s journey.

The logistics company counts

If you have an in-house logistics department, there is nothing like it. However, not everyone has the budget to run their own fleet of vehicles and delivery personnel. So when you outsource your delivery, remember that this is the key function in your online retail business. Choose a partner who has a good track record. Cross check with your network and opt for a logistics partner who is reliable.

Have a backup logistics partner

You can also consider splitting the delivery among two or three courier companies. This is the classic adage of, ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. This helps minimise risk. Plus, not every logistics company can service all parts of the country.

Encourage consumers to pickup orders

Leading marketplaces like Amazon are nudging their customers to pick up their delivery from strategic locations. You can consider this move, which would be suitable for customers who are not based out of one place (either home or office). Offer incentives for customers who can pick up their parcels from your partners’ locations. This helps you ease the burden of the crucial last mile.

Keep all the required permits and papers up to date

This might not be very rigid in inter-city transportation as much as it is in international deliveries. All the same, ensure that you keep the necessary papers handy and in order. This can save you a lot of time in case of checks. If everything is in order, then you will be cleared in no time. If not, your consignment might be held back at check posts, which can naturally set back your delivery time.

While these tips can help improve your shipping efficiency, some speed breakers and road bumps are inevitable. For every other ecommerce need, there is Browntape. We are India’s largest ecommerce service provider and can help you. Contact us for all your ecommerce needs.

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