1) What are Undelivered Products & Orders in Ecommerce Industry?
The eCommerce industry thrives on customer satisfaction. Perhaps one of the most dissatisfying experiences that both customers and ecommerce businesses face is when an order goes undelivered. An undelivered order refers to a product that is unable to be delivered in the last mile of delivery.
This means that the order has made it to the final leg of its journey but, due to some difficulty, was not successfully handed over to the customer. This can happen for a number of reasons which will be enumerated below. When this occurs, a courier partner will usually make multiple attempts to deliver the product successfully.
However, without a proper procedure in place to address the undelivered order (termed as an NDR or Non-Delivery Report), the chances of the delivery succeeding are very slim. The result is the order being labelled RTO (Return to Origin). This means the failed delivery now has to be returned to the warehouse it first came from.
Your ecommerce business must then bear the cost of the order's journey to the customer, the loss of the payment for the order, and any other possible damage costs incurred during its return journey. All in all, NDRs are the mother of all migraines experienced by an ecommerce enterprise. But much like with real migraines, they are ways to mitigate the damage. In this article, we'll be discussing how NDRs occur and what these forms of mitigation look like.
2) In eCommerce; How to Manage and Reduce Undelivered Orders With Ease
To start with, we'll be giving you a base procedural method to reduce undelivered orders easily through careful management. Consider this an ayurvedic treatment for NDRs. We've broken down the process you need to follow into a series of steps. These steps enable you to manage NDRs through separation and targeted action.
2.1) Categorise NDRs
When there's an influx of NDRs on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, you can't deal with them all at once. The smartest thing to do is to categorise them, usually based on their cause as that can give you insight into how they can be solved.
2.2) Send Customer’s Queries
In most solvable NDRs, the customer's discretion is given top priority. Whether they rejected the order or if their address was incorrectly submitted, the customer holds the key to successful delivery so it's important to reach out to them with the right questions.
2.3) Update Delivery Agent
Now that you've gotten the right information from the customer, you need to pass that back to your courier partner. They then need to update said information and ensure the next delivery agent assigned to the order has the new information to ensure successful delivery.
2.4) Multiple Delivery Attempts
Because there are so many possibilities where things could go wrong during delivery, most courier partners make multiple delivery reattempts for each order. So after the first attempt, the delivery agent, now armed with the right information, can make a second and third attempt. The number of attempts can be agreed upon in advance by you and your carrier.
2.5) Follow Up With Customer
After another delivery attempt is made, it's always good to follow up with customers immediately to determine what went right or wrong. If the second or third delivery attempt failed, what caused this failure and how can it be avoided in the future. This lets customers know you care.
2.6) Complete Delivery
Following up with customers is necessary to ensure your final goal is reached, the final goal being to ensure delivery is completed. A failed delivery that ends with completion of the delivery is a successful order that adds to your profitability.
3) How Does an eCommerce NDR Management System Help in Reducing the Undelivered Orders for Your Online Business?
The steps we mentioned above give you a basic understanding of how you can address NDRs. But when your company is handling thousands of orders a month, addressing undelivered orders one by one can become a near-impossible task. That's why many businesses have been turning to eCommerce NDR management systems.
These systems enable you to implement a smarter and faster workflow for handling NDR, using the very same steps we listed above. An NDR management system uses technology to fortify your existing procedure and give you the following upgrades.
3.1)NDRs Notified Faster
3.2)Allocate NDR Cases Via AI
3.3)Automate Customer Communications
3.4)Ensure Carriers are Updated
3.5)Weed Out Fake Deliveries
3.6)Monitor and Reduce NDRs
4) Top Most Common Reasons Leads to Undelivered Orders
We've established the importance of categorising NDRs by cause. This is because knowledge of what led to the NDR occurring can directly influence your next step. It lets you know a) can this NDR be addressed and b) if yes, what information is needed next. To give you greater clarity on how this works, here are 6 of the most common causes for NDRs.
4.1) Incorrect Delivery Destination
This type of NDR occurs when the customer submits an incorrect or incomplete address or contact number. Consequently, the delivery agent would be unable to find the destination to complete delivery until the issue is resolved.
4.2) Customer is Unreachable
If the delivery agent is having difficulties finding the delivery, he/she would likely reach out to the customer to confirm the actual location. If the customer’s phone number is unreachable, the delivery agent would be unable to complete the industry.
4.3) Customer is Not Available
There may be occasions where the delivery agent is on their way to hand over the product or reach the customer’s destination but the customer is not available to take the order. Accordingly, the customer would have to be approached for an alternate delivery time.
4.4) Customer Refuses the Delivery
The customer’s word is always law, even if they change their minds. Some customers may refuse or reject the order. This can happen for a variety of reasons, like delivery being delayed or if packaging was damaged en route.
4.5) Customer Out of Delivery Range
Courier companies typically have a very specific range for last mile delivery, and usually select warehouses or in-transit storage locations that are close to the delivery address. However, if an address is determined to be outside designated delivery range, new arrangements will have to be made for delivery.
4.6) Fake Attempts at Delivery
Fake deliveries is the name given to orders that were falsely updated as a failed delivery by a delivery agent that did not make the delivery attempt at all. These can be extremely problematic and would therefore need to be carefully tracked and then reduced.
5) Final Conclusion
NDRs are an unavoidable part of running an Ecommerce business. There are going to be some orders that struggle to make it to the customer. And those failed deliveries have a high potential of becoming RTOs, resulting in heavy losses for your business. The longer it takes for a delivery exception, like a delayed delivery or a failed delivery, to be converted into a successful delivery, the higher the probability the customer will cancel the order.
The only true solution is using a carefully crafted workflow that goes super-saiyan when supported by an NDR management software. These systems will not only help you speed up your NDR response times, it'll also help you determine which NDRs are solvable and automate the process of resolving them. This boosts your overall profitability in a multitude of ways and gives your company the foundation it needs to take on greater and greater volumes.