1) What is Automation in NDR Management?
Automation is one of the latest innovations of the 21st century to be introduced into NDR management protocols in the logistics sector. Automation is the modern-day equivalent to Ford's assembly line. It breaks down large and complex processes into smaller functions. These functions are arranged and supported with tech in such a way that one action drives the next action, ensuring minimal delays and minimal effort is required. NDR management refers to the strategic resolution of NDR, which is another terminology for failed deliveries.
These undelivered orders can result in inordinate losses for your business if not carefully tackled. By automating certain processes in your eCommerce NDR management workflow, you can save yourself time, labour and money. Through the course of this article, we'll be diving into the various important aspects for NDR management. We will understand where the need for NDR management arises, different variations of NDR management workflows, and the role automation plays in it for eCommerce businesses.
2) What Do RTOs Mean for eCommerce Businesses?
You can't have a discussion about the importance of NDR management without first discussing RTO. Return to Origin, i.e., RTO is the status assigned to orders that could not be delivered and are therefore being returned to their point of origin. RTO represents a significant loss for eCommerce businesses. Orders marked as RTO are treated as cancelled orders essentially. This means that any amount paid by the customer is immediately refunded.
At the same time, the amount you paid for forwarding shipping charges remains lost. The return journey of the order to the origin warehouse also poses a threat to profitability as there are possibilities of the order getting stuck, lost or damaged. A high RTO% can have an extreme negative impact on the overall growth of an e-commerce enterprise. It acts as a major roadblock to maximizing order fulfillment which is the end goal of any business.
3) How are RTOs Related to NDRs
Given that this discussion revolves around NDR management, the next thing we need to cover is where and how NDR and RTO collide. An NDR is essentially a notification containing details of an undelivered order. It may seem similar to an RTO in that sense, but NDR have the potential to be resolved. An NDR that is unable to be resolved gets converted into an RTO. The process of resolving NDR is what is referred to as NDR management.
When a failed delivery first occurs, i.e., the first time a delivery agent is unable to hand over the order to the customer, ecommerce enterprises are notified via an NDR. After this, a carrier will usually perform an agreed-upon number of delivery reattempts to hand over the order. Each reattempt provides another opportunity to fulfill the order, thereby ensuring it is converted into a successful delivery and not an RTO. This entire process of resolving NDR on a large scale is known as NDR management.
4) How Do Courier Companies Traditionally Handle Product Return (Orders)?
Now we'll be diving into the traditional method of handling returned and undelivered orders. The most commonly used mechanism for NDR management is relatively simple. Each courier partner will provide an NDR list to your eCommerce company at the end of every working day. This list contains information on all undelivered orders, including details noted down by delivery agents on why the delivery failure occurred.
Based on this information, you can reach out to the respective customers to know how to ensure the next delivery attempt will be successful. You then have to pass this information on to the carriers and hope it reaches the delivery agent before the next delivery attempt is made. If all goes well, 2nd or 3rd delivery attempt should succeed.
5) How Does ClickPost Handle Undelivered Ecommerce Shipments?
While the traditional system of NDR Management may seem easy and efficient, there are numerous difficulties. Delays can occur in passing on the correct information, resulting in multiple uninformed delivery attempts that fail. Customers may cancel the order due to slow response times or the total lack of response. After all, most customers will experience some anxiety after being notified of a failed delivery.
These reasons, and many others, are why ClickPost created a clear workflow for handling undelivered ecommerce shipments. This workflow for NDR management uses a cause-specific approach, classifying NDR as types based on their cause. Through this streamlined system, each NDR is immediately identified in accordance with its likelihood to succeed.
Cause-specific customer communications are triggered for certain types of NDR. The responses received then set off carrier communications, ensuring the next delivery attempt is an informed one. And understanding the importance that speed plays in these matters, the entirety of the process is automated.
6) How Does ClickPost Automated NDR Management System and Solution Reduce RTO (%) by Half for eCommerce Businesses?
As explained above, the NDR management system and solution provided by ClickPost takes the traditional approach to handle NDRs and fortifies it with the help of technology. This automated NDR management works to resolve a greater number of NDR at a faster pace.
Research has shown that delivery must be resolved within 36 hours of the first failed delivery, after which the likelihood of the order being cancelled by the customer increases. To that effect, these are some of the technological advantages afforded to you through use of the ClickPost automated NDR management solution and system.
6.1) Real-Time Updates on NDRs
In the traditional method of NDR management, all NDR notifications for each working day are supplied by the carrier together at the end of the day. With an NDR management system, you can receive NDR updates in real time. So as soon as your carrier gets an NDR update from a delivery agent, you get the update too.
6.2) Faster Detection of NDR Cause
An important step in deciding which NDR can be resolved and how to go about resolving it is to determine the cause of it. However, the process of going through each NDR to segregate it can be long and tedious. An NDR management software like ClickPost's uses AI to quickly and accurately sort through NDR with the help of predetermined cause-based metrics.
6.3) Push Queries Quickly to Customers
Reaching out to customers for pertinent information is an extremely important step in NDR management. Looking again at the traditional method, you would reach out to customers a full day after the delivery failure occurred.
This can leave customers confused and anxious. An NDR management software automates the process of sending them queries that are issue-specific. These communications are sent as soon as an NDRs cause has been identified.
6.4) Pass Data to Carriers Instantaneously
Once you get the right information from customers, you need to make sure this information reaches the newest delivery agent before the next delivery reattempt. This can be difficult with the traditional method as you would typically send the information to the carrier via email. With an NDR management software, the response submitted by the customer is immediately pushed to the carrier.
6.5) Monitor and Reduce Fake Deliveries
Fake deliveries are the most frustrating of NDR to occur. They can have extremely adverse effects on customer experience. And they can be difficult to predict and intervene with. However, monitoring them on a regular basis can make a huge difference here. By tracking the frequency of fake deliveries and collecting data from both carriers and customers, you can actively address fake deliveries. This enables you to keep the number of fake deliveries that occur low.
6.6) Provide Regular NDR Analytics
While there are certain causes and situations related to NDR that remain static, which we've listed later in this article, there are still numerous anomalies that can pop up. Converting NDR to successful deliveries is important but it's equally important to reduce the overall number of deliveries. Much like with fake deliveries, this is much easier to do with regular analytics reports on NDR provided by an NDR management software that uses tech to track your NDR and collect pertinent data on them.
7) What Typically Causes an NDR (Non-Delivery Report) to Occur in Ecommerce
You’ll notice a lot of the focus of NDR management revolves around cause-based action. This is because the cause of an NDR can provide you with a dearth of information on how to proceed. Classifying each type of NDR based on the reason for its occurrence gives you a clear perspective on actionable responses.
Some types of NDR cannot be resolved through any form of action, while others may require minimal information to correct the same. Knowing how and why NDR occurs can create a clear path for you to move on to ensure failed deliveries that can be completed are acted upon. In the interest of said clarity, here are the top 8 causes for NDR to occur.
7.1) When the Customer is Not Available
At the time of delivery, some customers may not be available to take possession of the order. The delivery agent would then be unable to complete the delivery.
7.2) When the Customer is Not Reachable
In case the delivery agent is having some difficulties finding the delivery destination, they may reach out to the customer for additional information. If the customer is not reachable, the delivery agent would not be able to deliver the order.
7.3) When the Customer Refuses Delivery
Customers enjoy the freedom of choice that comes with online shopping. Part and parcel of that is the freedom to change their minds about an order. This means customers can simply refuse to accept an order being delivered, thereby resulting in its failure.
7.4) When the Customer Provides an Incorrect Address
Many customers make mistakes when entering the purchase details. This means that errors in delivery destination and the customer's address can occur frequently. If the delivery agent is unable to find the location at the time of delivery, the order becomes an NDR.
7.5) When the Customer Provides an Incorrect Phone Number
Among the other mistakes that customers can make in their excitement to place, an order is an incorrect or incomplete phone number. This obstructs the delivery agent from reaching out to the customer to find delivery location and completing the order.
7.6) When the Customer Doesn’t Have Payment Ready
India has many new online shoppers and most of them are still learning to trust the eCommerce industry. That's why customers prefer COD payment options. This, unfortunately, leads to situations where a customer may not have the cash on hand at the time of delivery, requiring an alternate delivery time to be scheduled.
7.7) When the Customer is Out of the Delivery Area
A small change or mistake in the delivery address can result in the delivery destination being marked in a different area than intended. So when the delivery agent goes to hand over the order, he discovers that the actual delivery location is out of the preset range covered by that particular carrier. This would stop the delivery from being completed.
7.8) When the Delivery Agent Provides a False Update
There are rare occasions where a delivery agent may choose not to make the delivery attempt but will mark the delivery as failed. These are called fake deliveries and are extremely destructive to your brand reputation. These can result in poor customer experience and possibly cancelled orders.
8) Advantages of Automating NDR for Your Online Business
Managing a few failed deliveries may not seem like a very difficult task, but as your order volume increases, a few will become many. Automating NDR management in eCommerce is a sure-shot system for handling NDR on a regular basis without having to redirect too many resources for this purpose.
Where previously you would have needed all hands on deck to sift through and classify NDR notifications received, an AI handles this task for you instantaneously. Instead of having multiple teams to handle customer care calls, queries can be sent automatically to their phone and then directly pushed to carriers. The process of automation actively works in NDR management to ensure the accuracy of data and speedy communication.
9) Final Conclusion
There is no avoiding failed deliveries. This is the unflinching truth that all ecommerce companies eventually have to accept. However, failed deliveries do not necessarily have to be the destructive influences and heavy losses that we see them all. With ClickPost’s automated NDR management system, every failed delivery becomes an opportunity to show your customers the heights of your efficiency.
Before customers get a chance to panic about the failed delivery status of their order, they will already have a message on their phone telling them why the issue occurred and how they can help fix it. You can monitor your NDR notifications with absolute ease and ensure that a minimal number of NDR are converted into RTO.