If you have been in the ecommerce business for some time now, you may have come across packages that are returned as undeliverable by your ecommerce courier service. This can be frustrating as you lose precious money and time to pack the products and ship them to the respective customer. So, why does it happen often? How are these packets different from customer returns? And what can be done in order to reduce such cases?
In order to understand the process of handling undelivered products, you need to first understand what exactly is undeliverable. Moreover, you need to get an idea on the role it plays in your ecommerce shipping in India; and why it is important to carefully plan your logistics to avoid an increase in the number of undelivered products.
What are undelivered packages?
As the name suggests, undelivered products are those that are returned back to the sellers because the courier partner was unable to deliver them to the customer. There could be different reasons for such situations. We will be discussing those reasons in detail below.
Unlike product returns, for undelivered products, the customer does not make a request for return. In most cases, it remains with your ecommerce courier service and is never received by the customer. Which means that the products are not opened by the customer and are usually in good condition for re-sale. These cases are also known as RTO, Return to Origin.
Reasons for undelivered products
Following are some of the most common reasons wherein a product is deemed undeliverable:
- Incorrect Address: This is one of the most common reasons for undelivered packages. If the address is incorrect or outdated, the package will be returned to the seller by the ecommerce courier service.
While the higher possibility is that this is usually an error generated from the customer’s end, sometimes it could your fault too – especially if you rely on too much human interference. If your logistics process still works on manual entries and address generation, the chances for such errors are extremely high.
In order to reduce these cases, there are mainly two things that you can do. First and foremost, you need to automate your logistics, if it is not the case already. When your business is online, how can your ecommerce shipping in India be far behind. There are several online tools that can help you automate your logistics. However, make sure you choose one that helps you manage your entire shipping process from a single space. Furthermore, look for a tool wherein you can sync all your orders, irrespective of the platform you are selling from. The ideal way is to choose a logistics aggregator platform, that can give you options in terms of multiple courier services and help you make an informed decision regarding your ecommerce courier service. This way, you not only streamline your shipping process but also save time and resources.
Another step to avoid these cases is to ask your customer to double-check their address. Before completing the checkout process, ask your customer to confirm the order details, including the shipping address. This extra step can help you avoid errors in shipping addresses to a very large extent.
- Failed delivery attempts: Sometimes products become undeliverable when there is no recipient to receive the product or the courier company is unable to contact the recipient. Most of the courier service companies that handle ecommerce shipping in India make more than one attempt to deliver a package. Even after multiple attempts, if there is nobody available to accept the delivery, the package will be returned to the point of origin.
In order to combat this issue, try to collect an alternative phone number or address from the customer during the checkout process. Also, after one failed attempt, drop an email or a message to the recipient mentioning the failure to deliver. You can further add the contact details of the ecommerce courier service that is handling the respective delivery. This way the customer can directly contact the delivery service and arrange for a suitable time and place to collect the product.
- Damaged in transit: If a product is found to be damaged on its way to the customer, the courier company will return it without even attempting delivery. While this can happen to anybody, as a seller, the safest way to mitigate the losses here is to be insured.
Also, try to always rely on a courier company that has a good reputation for handling efficient delivery services. Do thorough research for your ecommerce shipping in India and compare the services of multiple couriers to find the most suitable option for your brand.
- Refused by the recipient: Believe it or not, in some rare cases, the customer refuses to accept a package citing different reasons. One of the most common possibilities is when a gift recipient is not expecting a gift. In this case, they may refuse the order if they believe that it was sent to them in error. Or, in other cases, if the customer cancels the order after the product has been shipped/picked up for delivery – they might refuse to accept it from your ecommerce courier service.
To avoid such situations, create a separate shipping label for ‘gift-wrapped’ packages and provide the sender’s details as well. Also, you can probably ask the customers who opt for ‘gift-wrapping’ an order, to let the recipient know that a surprise is on the way.
Whatever be the reason, an undelivered product is a frustrating part of selling online as the expenses for packing, printing and shipping goes to waste. However, unlike a product return initiated by the customer, the package is usually not broken and the product is still in good condition. Therefore, once returned by the ecommerce courier service, it can be added back to the inventory for resale. Moreover, in order to mitigate the financial losses, you can charge the customer for shipping in some cases. For instance, additional charges for gift wrapping and for cancellation of orders after the product is dispatched etc.
Making minor tweaks to your shipping strategy can also help. Always try to compare, compare and compare between courier services to get an idea on their efficiency and success rate. Depend on an aggregator platform to easily achieve that. With rich experience in handling ecommerce clients, ShipKaro logistics aggregator platform can offer you the services of India’s leading courier companies. Also, with automated logistics and auto-sync features, you can easily streamline your ecommerce shipping in India and save time and resources. This leaves you with additional time to focus more on the expansion of your core business.
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