Good news - your store just made a sale!
But just after you’ve held your little mental celebration and started calculating your revenue, you’re slapped with a Non-Delivery Report (NDR) from your logistics partner.
NDRs are the bane of online businesses everywhere, and they have a bigger impact on your business growth than you think!
What is a NDR?
As an online seller, you must be well-acquainted with failed shipment deliveries. The cause could be anywhere from incorrect customer address or contact information to a customer flat-out refusing the shipment at the door.
But you have to pay the courier partner anyway. So it comes out of your pocket!
In such cases, your courier partner generates what is called a Non-Delivery Report or an NDR, wherein you have two courses of action.
One, you can reattempt delivery by furnishing the correct customer details or two, you can opt for Return to Origin (RTO), which basically means that the package will be returned to you.
If you fail to take action on the NDR or do not furnish the correct details for reattempted delivery even after two times, then your courier partner automatically marks your shipment as RTO on the third failed delivery.
What are the common reasons for non-delivery?
There are plenty of reasons why an order might fail to be delivered. But here are some common ones:
- Customer putting in incomplete/ wrong delivery address or contact number
- Customer not reachable or picking up at the time of delivery
- Customers refusing delivery at doorstep because they no longer want it
- Customer requesting delivery at a later time or date
- Cash on Delivery (COD) amount not ready at delivery
- Order visibly damaged or tampered with during transit
- Issues with the delivery agent locating the address
- Order not shipped or out for delivery on time
How does non-delivery impact your business?
Online shopping has become increasingly convenient and risk-free, which means anyone can make impulse purchases and return an item without thinking twice.
A study by KPMG found that 20% of all shipments in e-commerce are return shipments when the order is prepaid. This number jumps to 40% if the payment method is Cash on Delivery (COD).
This means 1 out of every 3 COD orders gets returned.
If you’re a seller, then this is the worst-case scenario for you because you not only lose out on sales and revenue but also have to incur additional costs out of your own wallet to get the product returned to you.
And there’s always a chance that the product gets spoiled or damaged on its way back, which means further losses.
So, how can you reduce non-delivery of orders? (Business side)
1. Tackle Cash on Delivery (COD) orders head on
COD has been fuelling the growth of e-commerce in tier 2 and tier 3 cities across India because of how easy and secure it is. But it’s a major source of frustration for every online retailer because most non-deliveries happen only in COD orders.
A study conducted by Deloitte found that the conventional logistics partners aren’t equipped with the expertise to handle COD orders and their returns.
To reduce non-delivery of COD orders caused by the inaptitude of your courier partner, you must either establish your own delivery network or have a multi-network chain of logistics partners for management.
2. Find the right last-mile logistics partner
Your last-mile logistics partner needs to be especially reliable in terms of delivery area expertise and handling of COD orders.
Finding a logistics partner that has delivery agents with thorough knowledge of the delivery area is important for prepaid orders as well so that the orders can be delivered timely.
3. Leverage an interactive Voice Response (IVR) facility
You also need to have a NDR management team or an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system in place so you can verify the delivery agent’s claims for non-delivery against the customer’s and prevent non-deliveries due to agent errors.
Another angle for reducing non-deliveries is on the customer end of the business, which is commonly where most issues that cause non-delivery actually arise from. And this is precisely where WhatsApp automations come handy!
How can you use WhatsApp to reduce non-delivery? (Customer side)
WhatsApp is a life-safer for ecommerce businesses when it comes to reducing non-deliveries on the customer end. Yet, many businesses still don’t leverage it for this purpose.
Being the most popular messaging app with about 2 billion users across the globe, WhatsApp is the perfect platform to communicate with your customers one-to-one.
It provides you the opportunity to improve your customer service, since it’s a platform your customers are comfortable with and are likely to open at least once a day.
So it’s the perfect medium for reaching out to your customers and troubleshooting the common causes of non-delivery of orders. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Confirm orders and contact details
After an order is placed, send your customers a message asking them to confirm their order and only ship the order after confirmation.
Also ask them to verify their contact number so you can reduce cases of the delivery person being unable to reach them.
Congratulations, your order for 'Cali Red Shoes, Size 38' has been placed successfully!
Please reply with 'Confirm' to confirm your order!
2. Confirm delivery address
Incomplete or wrong customer address is one of the main reasons for failed deliveries, so to prevent this, ask your customers to verify their delivery address.
If a customer responds with a correction, then you’ll be notified in your one-inbox so you can update the details for their order.
Hey Jane! Please verify your address to make sure you receive your product on time.
Address: 147, Leverton Cove, Springfield
Confirm | Correct
3. Convert COD to prepaid orders
Thanks to the convenience of COD, a lot of people opt for it impulsively to buy things they might not want that badly because they can do so without paying upfront.
This means customers often end up rejecting the delivery at doorstep because it doesn’t cost them anything. This is precisely why COD orders have a lower order fulfillment rate compared to prepaid orders.
So the most effective method to reduce non-delivery due to customer rejections and secure your sales is to compel your customers to opt for online payment instead of COD.
How can you do that? In the following ways:
- Take extra shipping charges for COD orders
- Give an additional discount if they pay for the order before it is delivered
- Give them cashback or a discount coupon if they receive the order
- Give extra discount or cashback on prepayment
Your order has been confirmed!
As a token of appreciation, here's something for you.
Pay for your order now and get 10% off!
Only valid for the next 2 hours.
Pro tip: Ensure that you have UPI payments available so that your customers can pay in a few simple clicks for their order.
4. On non-delivery of an order
Despite covering all grounds, it’s still possible for non-delivery to happen due to some or the other issue, such as the customer not being at home at the time of delivery.
You only have two tries before your courier partner marks the package as RTO on the third failed delivery. So what can you do in these cases?
a). When the order is returned for the first two times
Send your customers a message saying they can avail a 200/- cashback on successful delivery of the order so that they’re more keen to accept it.
b). When the order is returned for the final time
Re-win the customer by offering them an extra discount that is applicable only for prepaid orders, For example, 30% off on the next prepaid order.
The idea is to communicate with your customers throughout their post-purchase journey and predict delivery issues beforehand.
It’s similar to how you get to check whether someone’s card is valid at the point of sale before handing over the products they purchase or want to purchase from you.
Conclusion: Reduce NDRs with WhatsApp Marketing
Non-deliveries severely impact your revenue by driving up the operational and logistics costs since you have to shell out twice the money to get the shipments returned to you.
But with better early-on management of logistical issues and the deficiencies on the customer end, you can greatly reduce those pesky NDRs and massive monetary losses.
Using a WhatsApp chat bot app like QuickReply.ai on your Shopify store, can help you save a lot of headache when it comes to non-deliveries because it allows you to set up time-saving automations to address and resolve the most common causes for non-deliveries.
Here’s a glimpse of its powerful Shopify chatbot builder that lets you address non-delivery with conversational automation:
You can set up sequences to verify customer delivery information beforehand and also nudge your customers to choose online payment options instead of COD, significantly reducing the number of NDRs and RTOs.
But that’s not all.
Since QuickReply.ai’s chatbots are tailor made for online businesses, they come pre-trained with common but very frequent ecommerce customer queries as well as ready-to-use conversational campaigns that you can use to sell, upsell, resell and recover abandoned carts too!
Ready to use WhatsApp marketing to reduce NDR on your Shopify store?
Q1. Is there a WhatsApp integration for Shopify?
Ans: Much more is possible with the Shopify and WhatsApp combination. With the help of the product creation webhook, you might, for instance, immediately inform your consumers about new items (complete with pictures, videos, and documentation). Consult the guidelines and create a Shopify store where customers can converse.
Q2. How does WhatsApp function with catalogs?
Ans: By building a catalog, users of the WhatsApp Business app may simply share and promote their goods and services with clients. On the company profile, the catalog is visible. A unique title and optional fields for the price, description, website link, and product code are included for each item in the catalog.
Q3. How can I get more people to use WhatsApp?
Ans: Your company website, which you can add buttons and widgets to, is one of the simple ways to drive visitors to WhatsApp. The majority of visitors to this area are consumers looking for product or service information.