Deliver on your e-promises

Consumer surveys consistently report a high level of customer dissatisfaction with Internet retailers when it comes to actually delivering the goods. Too many retailers, it seems, are overly focused on the selling aspect and haven't planned well enough how they intended getting purchases to their buyers.

While working out the logistics of a delivery system can be challenging, and the costs associated with making deliveries significant, getting this process right is critical to the success of an e-business - a poor shopping experience almost certainly means a lost customer.

And its not just delivery. There are going to be times when products get broken during transit, or the wrong item is sent. What if the customer is simply dissatisfied with the goods? Consumer legislation can often be summarised as 'the customer is always right', meaning that you have the responsibility for retrieving the items and getting them back to your storage facility, all at your own cost of course.

What all this amounts to is that your e-business plan needs to give just as much attention to policies and procedures for fulfillment and returns, as to the actual selling of your goods. Here are some suggestions.

Find a carrier that will cover your entire trading area

Having a number of separate carriers for particular areas might seem to have some price advantages but overall it is going to be a costly stratagem. When selecting a company to deliver your products employ the services of one that lets you track each shipment. The reason for this is that it's you, not the delivery company, that will get the inquiries about shipments and you have to be able to respond promptly to your customers.

Insure everything you ship out

Whether you levy a separate charge for 'delivery and insurance' or simply build the cost into your price structure, never ship anything without insuring it first.

Partner with local resellers

If your business also sells its products through unaffiliated retailers you might consider negotiating with them to deliver on your behalf in their trading area. Orders received on your website are forwarded to the retailer who then makes the delivery drawing from their own stock and charges you an agreed amount for each transaction.

Develop and promote a delivery policy

Put your entire delivery policy in writing. Cover every aspect from the expected order receipt-to-shipment time, to how it will be carried and what the customer has to do to receive the goods. Clearly state your insurance coverage terms and how customers can return the goods if they are defective or unsatisfactory. Make sure this policy is clearly stated on your website and displayed somewhere on your order form in both its electronic and hard copy versions.

Contact us



Skype PhilANZ


Phone 04 920 0911


P.O. Box 30-545, Lower Hutt 5040

Click here to learn to improve the long-term profability of your business

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