Online shopping is at an all time high, with the global e-commerce market expected to total 6.3 trillion dollars this year alone. As consumers around the world click “add to cart”, shipping is their top priority. They’re eagerly awaiting their package with each day that passes and expect their shipments to arrive according to schedule, if not sooner. However, those in the last-mile delivery industry know that unexpected delays are inevitable, causing delivery exceptions and customer frustration.
Instead of rolling with the punches, the right delivery tracking software can help you combat the consequences of these delays – but before we get there, let’s walk through the basics of delivery exceptions, including:
- What is a delivery exception?
- How do delivery exceptions happen?
- How do delivery exceptions impact your business?
- How to handle delivery exceptions What is a Delivery Exception?
In simple terms, a delivery exception is when a package delayed in transit prevents an order from being delivered to a customer on time. These delays typically occur for reasons out of your control such as a wrongly printed shipping address, weather, etc. Even companies using the most advanced route optimization software experience delivery exceptions because of their unpredictability. Whether they are in your control or not, delivery exceptions are likely to negatively impact your perceived level of customer service.
Common Causes of Delivery Exceptions
Now that you know what a delivery exception is, you may be wondering how they happen. Most of the delivery delays you’ll encounter are due to:
A clearly and correctly printed label is essential to an on-time delivery. If there are any issues with the label such as unscannable barcodes, illegible text, or an incorrectly printed address, the package will be marked as a delivery exception. Additionally, if the label is missing shipping information or documentation, or the label itself is missing from the package, this will result in your being unable to deliver the package.
Even with the correct labels and tracking information, it’s possible for packages to get lost en route to their final destination. This can result in extensive delivery delays, or even put the delivery on hold completely. Similarly, damaged packages will have to be sent back to the facility, causing late deliveries.
Severe weather, including thunderstorms, snow storms, or even hurricanes can cause shipments to fall off track. Even if warnings about delays due to weather are communicated in advance, these delivery exceptions can still result in a poor customer experience.
Driver Delays or Miscommunication
Disorganized delivery driver workflows and processes can result in delivery exceptions. This includes drivers being unable to locate an address, not having the proper tools to communicate with customers, or reading the wrong routing information, all of which can lead to failed delivery attempts. Fortunately, this is the most preventable cause of delivery delays, and can be fixed with the right fleet planning software.
How Do Delivery Exceptions Impact Your Business?
Cost of Delivery
Unfortunately, the cost to reship or reattempt delivery has a direct impact on company revenue. The average cost to reship a lost or damaged delivery is $15 per shipment, and that doesn’t even include the cost of the lost product itself. These $15 shipping costs easily add up, and you may even have to reimburse customers for the delay in delivery or the product itself. Beyond the shipment, you’re also wasting valuable resources, including the materials needed to reship and the extra time spent by drivers, dispatchers, customer service reps, and other logistics employees.
Although the reasons behind delivery exceptions are often out of our hands, customers expecting an on-time delivery don’t see it that way. It’s a very frustrating experience for them, especially when delays aren’t properly communicated. In fact, nearly 69% of shoppers are much less or less likely to shop with a retailer in the future if an item they purchased is not delivered within two days of the date promised. If you’re a retailer, this can result in a dramatic decrease in customer loyalty or even losing customers altogether; and if you’re a distributor or logistics company, this can have a negative impact on your relationship with retailers, as they feel they can’t rely on you to fulfill customer orders.
How to Avoid Delivery Exceptions with Wise Systems
While delivery exceptions will never be completely preventable, the right delivery automation software can lead to better management of delays, in addition to increased customer loyalty and cost savings. And at the very least, it can keep customers informed when they find themselves asking, “Why is my delivery delayed?”
The Wise Systems delivery automation platform streamlines route planning, dispatching, driver management, fleet management and more to modernize the last-mile and grow your business. Specifically, the Driver app from Wise Systems sets delivery drivers up for success when unexpected exceptions strike, providing them with the right communication, navigation, and data tools to stay on top of delays. Additionally, the Customer Portal from Wise Systems keeps customers informed and up to date, allowing them to receive real-time ETAs and notifications for an excellent shipping experience.
Learn more about the Wise Systems platform at wisesystems.com/solutions and get in touch today to schedule a demo.