10 eCommerce Shipping Problems that can Potentially Harm Small Businesses

Harmful shipping problems

Last updated - April 13, 2023

The COVID-19 scare has slowly dwindled, but the norms created in this isolating time seem to be here to stay. One of these norms is the practice of online shopping. With the market for online businesses growing steadily, experts expect eCommerce to produce a whopping $6.17 trillion by 2023. In the same way, the boom in the industry has exacerbated the more substantial need for logistics.

An eCommerce business or any business that ships or deliver items to the client’s doorstep may encounter shipping problems that can harm the company. The first step to solving and preventing problems is awareness. 

Keep reading to know the different shipping problems and the steps to prevent poor logistics management for your business’ success.

Expensive shipping fees

Costly shipping

Depending on your logistics partner, shipping in high or low quantities can be costly. However, an increased shipping cost can be a huge turn-off to your customers, especially if you are in retail. 

To hit two birds with one stone, you must balance shipping costs by adhering to your customer’s expectations while still meeting the cost demands of shipping partners. 

Negotiation, bulk shipping, factoring shipping to product pricing, and proper canvassing of logistics partners may help address this double dilemma.

Slow shipping

Online shopping provides a dopamine boost for customers and covers two points of gratification: the first one is when your customer orders and the second is when they receive the product. 

No one enjoys delayed gratification. In many cases, delivery speed can make or break your sales. The slower your products arrive, the less pleased your customers will be. This recurring logistic concern can be detrimental to your business, and you surely don’t want to be the store with a slow delivery reputation. 

You may quickly solve this by choosing a prompt delivery service that can cater to your customer’s expectations. You may also use the following tools for more speedy deliveries:

  • eCommerce automation tools to properly track orders
  • Anticipatory shipping to predict consumer purchases and make shipping plans in advance
  • Route Optimization Software to analyze delivery routes and create solutions in advance

Delivery delays

Delivery delays

This shipping problem is different from slow delivery/shipping. Delivery delays, while still unforeseen, are preventable. Some examples of delays include failing to meet arrival promises due to unexpected circumstances like inclement weather, staff emergencies, or malfunctioning delivery vehicles.

While you can’t prevent all of these instances, you can easily get ahead of vehicle problems by performing regular truck tire maintenance.

Limited shipping locations

Even though top shipping companies in the Philippines promise to take your products almost anywhere around the archipelago, there will always be places that are not easily serviceable. This shipping problem will be detrimental to your small business, especially if your target market is one of those who are unserviceable. 

If your warehouse is far from your customers, you may try some alternative shipping options to reach them. In the worst-case scenario, consider retargeting your market if possible. 

Lost goods

Logistics partners may misplace an item here and there, which is not your fault. However, expect your business to take some heat from a disappointed customer. This mishap is often unpreventable, but that isn’t to say you can’t prepare for something like this. 

You may opt for shipping/cargo insurance, especially for high-value items. Communicating with your logistics partner and ensuring you stay updated with your items’ tracking information can also help prevent losing items. 

Damaged goods

Damaged goods

Like lost goods, damaged items are mostly not your doing. However, an expecting customer may be very unhappy with your brand once they receive a damaged item. 

Securing your products with shock-proof packaging can prevent this mishap. Don’t skimp on bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or even cardboard. Put better effort into that packaging or deal with a bad review on your shopping platform. 

Poor inventory management

Many small businesses spend all their energy on marketing and logistics and sometimes forget about a business’ real unsung hero: proper inventory management. 

It’s more than just auditing stocks using pen and paper or spreadsheets. It’s also about properly gauging your most and least popular products. Proper inventory management can help give you an insight into how to market your products more intentionally and drive more sustainable sales. 

Poor inventory management can lead to poor logistics management, especially in growing businesses with overwhelming orders. Sometimes, you might receive orders when there is insufficient inventory to support them. Conversely, you might make supply runs with no customer orders to reduce costs. 

Missing documents or information

Missing documentation

Attention to detail is necessary for logistical tasks. Sometimes, a package can be well-packaged but may miss an important document or information.

Logistics companies require shipper documentation, especially when sending packages overseas. These documents will help in customs clearance, transportation contracts, and more. Sometimes, the product receiver may overlook important recipient information like an important address detail, contact number, or even the recipient’s name.

Double or triple checking these crucial documents and data will not only save time but may prevent some costly mistakes along the way. 

Unavailable recipient upon delivery

In some payment modes like Cash-On-Delivery (COD), the delivery completion is not as simple as leaving it in the mail or the garage of a trusted neighbor. Most of the time, the rider must come back to the area and meet the recipient (or any representative) in person. 

This problem may sound like a problem caused by the recipient, but both parties can often prevent the mishap.

Proper tracking and sending text notifications during the delivery day will remind the recipient that they have an order coming that requires their payment. This way, the customer can prepare or send instructions to the rider in case no one is in the delivery area upon the logistic partner’s arrival.

Mismanaged tracking

If it was not stressed enough, tracking could make a lot of difference in informing your customers of their purchases’ whereabouts. Providing them with updates will help communicate that your business is dependable and trustworthy. 

Customer retention is vital to your business’s success, and one way to retain their trust is to hold their hand and leave them no anxiety until your products reach their doorsteps. 

Provide Excellent Business Relations

As an entrepreneur, you probably know that selling unique products is not enough. Your service to your customers does not end when they place their orders. You are also responsible for what comes until the items arrive at their destinations. Customer service is about consistently delivering your best service and earning their trust.

Knowing these eCommerce shipping problems is a step towards attending to your customer needs better and fulfilling your promises. Hopefully, this article helped you gain more insight into improving your customer service moving forward.

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