1) What Does NDR Mean to Your eCommerce Business
The acronym NDR means Non-Delivery Report, and as the term suggests, it refers to reports enlisting the details of an undelivered order. These are notifications given to your company that inform you of a failed delivery. Delivery failures can be extremely disheartening to your eCommerce business as your NDRs represent major hits to your order fulfillment numbers. Not immediately, of course.
An NDR is attempted to be redelivered multiple times by a carrier before being converted to RTO (Return to Origin). A high RTO% can be the ultimate destructive element, infiltrating and eating away at your profitability. An extremely effective way to stop this necrotic beast (i.e., high RTO) from seriously wounding your business is through NDR management.
2) What is the Traditional Method For NDR Management
Ecommerce businesses usually receive all NDR updates in bulk at the end of each working day. After receiving all NDR updates, you need to sift through them to figure out which ones can be addressed. This can be done by identifying the cause of the NDR and accordingly whether or not that NDR can be resolved. For example, if the customer was unavailable or unreachable at the time of delivery, the NDR can be resolved by reaching out to the customer and determining a convenient delivery time.
So after classifying your NDR, the next day you can reach out to customers to find out how they prefer to ensure the delivery is completed. After that, any information received from the customer has to be passed on to the carrier. The carrier must then ensure the next delivery agent is informed at the time of performing the following delivery reattempts. If all goes as planned, you can avoid certain types of NDR being converted.
3) Flaws in the Traditional Method of NDR Management
Having any mechanism in place for managing NDRs is truly laudable, but it may not mean as much for your business. The truth is there are numerous difficulties that pop up while following the traditional method of NDR management listed above.
This managerial practice covers the bare minimum of undelivered orders but still does not allow you to meet what could potentially be maximum order fulfillment for your business. Here are the different obstacles that can occur using the basic method of managing NDR.
3.1) NDRs Notified Only at EoD
Carriers typically provide NDR notifications altogether at the end of each working day, which means you can only begin to respond to them the following day.
3.2) No Categorisation of NDRs
While the traditional method of handling NDRs does enable you to deal with them in a cause-specific manner, the lack of classification can make this process very slow.
3.3) Customers Left Uninformed
You have the choice to move forward with the second delivery attempt, but if you were unable to address the anxiety experienced by the customer after the first delivery failure, they may choose to cancel the order.
3.4) Slower Response Time
Because you would have to wait an entire day to deal with the previous day’s roster of NDR, you would only be able to reach out to customers for a response after a day.
3.5) Difficulties Identifying Fake Deliveries
When you’re battling a constant influx of NDR notifications on a daily basis, it makes it very difficult to manually sift through cases of fake deliveries and address them.
3.6) Repetition of Info to Delivery Agents
If you are unable to collect alternate information from the customer to ensure successful delivery, the delivery agent is likely to receive the same information again that caused the initial delivery failure.
4) How are RTOs Caused by NDRs
An NDR is typically notified the first time a delivery attempt fails. Following this, the carrier will likely perform multiple delivery attempts to complete the delivery. If a failed delivery is unable to be successfully delivered after all delivery reattempts have been completed, that order becomes an RTO.
There are some types of NDR that simply cannot be dealt with. For example, if a customer refuses an order or if the order is out of the delivery area. These are situations that cannot be solved and will therefore undoubtedly result in RTO. These are unavoidable.
On the other hand, NDR caused by incorrect information or unavailability of the customer can be rectified and resolved as the customer still wants the order to be completed and the carrier can complete said delivery. However, without a proper system in place to manage these NDRs, delivery reattempts may also fail multiple times. This is especially so if the delivery agent has not been provided the new information for order delivery. In this manner, even solvable NDR end up contributing to high RTO numbers.
5) Why Your eCommerce Business Needs an NDR Management Software Solution
We’ve gone into painstaking details about the difficulties surrounding NDRs. This includes the potential damage to profitability, the obstacles that arise in NDR management & why traditional methods are not entirely effective. So to round up your education on all things NDR, let’s take a look at the ultimate solution to delivery failures.
These solutions go by the name NDR management software. They are technologically-supported systems that specifically target NDR management in such a manner that you can overcome the obstacles of traditional NDR management. Using automating and enhanced workflows, you can increase the number of NDRs you resolve and convert to deliveries. Here are some of the ways an eCommerce NDR management software can help you.
5.1) Keep Track of All NDRs
Using a single dashboard to track all of your NDR ensures you keep track of each of them, across all carriers. You can also monitor them based on their status in the workflow.
5.2) Categorise Based On Cause
Classifying your NDRs based on cause ensures that you can group NDRs accordingly and deal with them using issue-specific protocols. This allows you to speed up your response mechanism.
5.3) Provide Issue-Specific Queries to Customers
Instead of reaching out to each customer one by one and asking them a series of questions on their delivery, you can save an immense amount of time and effort by sending queries specific to the noted cause of failed delivery. This also makes it easier for the customer to provide answers.
5.4) Automate Various Mechanisms
You can automate numerous different parts of this process. You can automate the system used to classify NDR based on their cause, as well as the mechanisms that push queries to customers and their responses to carriers.
5.5) Ensure Future Delivery Attempts Are Informed
At the end of the day, the only way to turn an NDR into a successful delivery is to ensure that the next delivery attempt is made with the right information in hand. This may include information about the customer’s address, contact information, and availability, as the case may be.
5.6) Actively Reduce Fake Deliveries
You can also track and monitor fake deliveries separately through NDR management software. You can determine which carriers have the highest volume of fake deliveries and work with them to reduce these numbers.
5.7) Use Data Periodically to Reduce NDRs
In addition to reducing fake deliveries, it’s also important to focus on reducing NDR numbers overall. This can be done by acting preemptively on certain types of NDRs like ones that occur due to customer rejection or because the delivery location is out of delivery range.
6) Final Conclusion
As long as you're an eCommerce company working in India, you will not be able to avoid NDRs. It's best to just accept that hard truth and move forward with a determination to find solutions. After all, you don't want all your NDRs turning into RTOs and hindering your profit-making abilities. Having a method to manage the madness that is NDR is only the first step.
The next step is recognizing the obstacles to your NDR management and employing a viable NDR management software to help you face those obstacles. The solutions you need should be tailored to your business requirements. But trying to handle them alone can end up taking your focus away from other important tasks. With an automated NDR management system, you can maximize order fulfillment with minimal effort. And keep customers smiling even after a failed delivery has occurred. That's what is called a miracle in the business world!