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blog | 5 min read

3 Things That Happen When a Delivery Goes Wrong

Businesses and consumers alike are growing increasingly reliant on ecommerce when it comes to buying and selling goods. Therefore, when a delivery goes wrong as a consequence of an incorrect shipping address, it can spark a disastrous chain reaction.

Plus, two in five UK shoppers state they will make more online purchases once the coronavirus lockdown period ends1. Additionally, only 6% claim they will make more of an effort to shop in-store once the outbreak has passed. This just goes to show how consumer shopping habits will centre around ecommerce for the foreseeable future. It also emphasises the importance of getting their address right the first time.

Below are 3 things that can happen when a delivery goes wrong:

1. Lost customers

The truth is, customers won’t wait around for companies who fail to deliver purchases to the correct address. People expect a level of service that is quick and effective, and when a delivery goes wrong their unfulfilled expectations can prompt them to seek solace elsewhere. Research conducted by Convey revealed that 84% of customers will not return to a retailer after one poor delivery experience2.

It doesn’t end there either. If a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or more people3. Consequently, word of mouth may lead to damaged brand reputation, which could result in more lost customers over time. This could prove fatal, as acquiring new customers is between five and 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones4.

2. Impact on logistics and profits

Your company’s logistics and profits are also at stake when a delivery goes wrong. After all, 32% of customers expect the retailer to re-route the shipment on their behalf if a package is sent to the wrong address5. This sends logistical operation costs soaring, resulting in a £1.2bn loss to retailers every year due to failed deliveries, and a £122.6m loss to carriers6. Subsequently, this has a negative impact on profits.

Although recent research shows that online shopping is growing by 129% week-on-week in the UK and Europe7, given the current economic uncertainty businesses need to pull out all the stops to maintain their profit margin. Delivering to the right person at the right address is a key component of this.

3. Hindered business analysis

Whilst you may not be currently prioritising business analysis, actually doing so will pay dividends in the future. Albeit less obvious than the previous two effects, having incorrect address information about your customers can greatly hinder analytical activities. Data collection can also vary in structure and quality due to the different ways it is collected throughout a company. By having an address lookup feature on website forms and in CRM’s an organisation can capture and verify data in a standard, easily integrated structure.

This means an organisation can accurately capture address data at source so that there are fewer problems with new data further down the road. This greatly improves the usability of the data resulting in a far greater chance of accurate business analysis. For example, you may wish to segment customers and prospects based on geographic location. However, failed deliveries because of inaccurate address data would suggest errors or inconsistencies within your database. Analysis becomes less effective, subsequently.

Hopewiser’s solution can prevent deliveries from going wrong

Our own research has shown that a number of ecommerce businesses don’t have an address lookup facility within their website, or are using search engine data to validate delivery information. Both of these methods have problems.

Firstly, we are all used to using methods to quickly find our address online, without having to type it out. Where those facilities are unavailable, it can lead to people abandoning their cart, or worse putting in an incorrect address because they are typing it out in full. In fact, an estimated 87% of shoppers will abandon a cart if a checkout process is too complicated8.

Secondly, search engine data will not have been verified by a reliable data source. This means it can be radically out of date. Additionally, it does not use full address matching techniques, leading to incorrect addresses being chosen. This is especially difficult when businesses are taking orders over the phone using search engines, because it presents the most used address first, rather than the best. Whilst cheap or free data may seem attractive, the reality could cost you a lot more in the long run.

Enhance your ecommerce website with an address validation solution, to ensure accurate address details are captured at the point of entry. In turn, this will prevent failed deliveries and mitigate the chain reaction that follows.

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, updated 23rd June 2020.