30 January 2018
The true cost of failed deliveries
It could be argued that, for consumers, the delivery of a
product is the most important part of the online shopping experience, but it’s
something that so many sellers still haven’t quite mastered.
Recent research has shown, in fact, that failed deliveries
are costing UK businesses hundreds of millions of pounds each year, with peak
purchasing periods like Christmas and Black Friday proving particularly pricey
The facts and figures
In its ‘Coming Together’ report, released towards the end of
2017, self-styled ‘delivery experience’ company Sorted estimated that there
would be £2.3 billion worth of failed deliveries over the Christmas period.
This, if realised, would have cost retailers nearly £465 million in returned
Luckily for ecommerce businesses, Sorted’s survey of 2,000
UK shoppers also looked into the reasons
for failed deliveries. It found a lack of flexibility to be the biggest
culprit, with one-in-four failed deliveries put down to customers not being
able to change their delivery options after an item has been shipped.
Why it’s an issue
The cost of returned items might be huge, but at least
businesses will have a chance to recoup that by reselling the same products to
new customers. The real issues lie with the impacts on productivity and
The study found that 39 per cent of shoppers lose faith in a
company’s ability to meet their needs if an order isn’t delivered in time, and
nearly half – 48 per cent - said a late delivery would make them less likely to
buy from the same retailer again.
As well as losing customers, businesses that regularly fail
to deliver products risk creating huge amounts of unnecessary work for
themselves, with returns taking up valuable time and warehouse space. This can
slow operations down and negatively impact customers in other ways.
Preventing failed deliveries
Failed deliveries aren’t completely avoidable, but there are
ways to minimise the risk and, therefore, keep your customers happier.
Sorted’s CEO David Grimes offered his own words of wisdom
after unveiling his company’s report, saying: " Simple functionality, such as letting customers choose from a
range of the best available delivery options to define what the perfect
delivery looks like to them, and then delivering on that promise, will greatly
reduce delayed orders and, ultimately, returns during peak trading."
On top of this flexibility, you should be working to keeping
your delivery fleet running as smoothly as possible. It’s here that
technologies like Electronic Proof
of Delivery (EPOD) systems can help. Jobs can be organised and tracked
effectively, allowing you to give customers up-to-date information that helps
make that final exchange – the handing over of goods – much more likely.
In-house technologies like mobile handheld
computers can also be used to track orders as they move through the
distribution process, once again giving you the ability to be clear and helpful
with expectant shoppers.
TouchStar specialises in helping businesses deliver. If you
think our EPOD technologies could help you get products where they need to be,
on time, get in touch today.