Inside this article
Effective delivery management is the bridge between a customer's order and their doorstep. This intricate process involves orchestrating routes, scheduling order dropoffs, inventory control, real-time tracking, and more.
As it isn’t an easy process, often, eCommerce businesses choose to work with delivery management software, WMS and inventory management tools, smart and fast picking and packing routes, efficient courier services and so on.
Keep reading to discover which are the benefits of efficient delivery management, and 7 ways to improve the delivery management process in your eCommerce business.
What is delivery management?
Delivery management refers to the process of overseeing and coordinating the end-to-end journey of orders, from the point of origin to the final destination.
In order to have timely, efficient, and reliable delivery of goods to customers, certain processes and tools need to be in place.
Delivery management encompasses different aspects: determining routes, scheduling deliveries, managing inventory, preparing orders, providing real-time tracking and updates, and even managing returns and exchanges falls into the delivery management category, as it is, in the end, a physical experience where something gets delivered.
Because of the complexity of delivery management operations –and its costs–, many eCommerce businesses choose to use platforms, such as delivery management software, GPS tracking systems, and order management systems, to streamline and automate various aspects of the delivery process.
Effective delivery management can have a significant impact on a company's reputation, customer loyalty, and overall operational efficiency, which is why it’s so important to consider and master.
Benefits of efficient delivery management
Efficient delivery management offers numerous benefits to eCommerce businesses and organizations. For example:
- Higher customer satisfaction: Timely, reliable and error-free deliveries and orders contribute to a positive customer experience. Real-time tracking updates enhance transparency and build trust. This also reduces customer inquiries about order status, freeing up customer service resources, and reducing customers’ anxiety towards their orders.
- Competitive advantage: Reliable and fast deliveries can be a decisive factor in customers’ purchasing decisions. When customers can choose between similar products, being able to provide them faster, can be the reason why the shop from you.
- Increased sales: Quick and dependable deliveries can lead to higher conversion rates, as customers feel more loyalty towards reliable brands and tend to repeat purchases when they know their items will be delivered promptly.
- Reduced costs: Efficient delivery management, when done correctly, implements measures to optimize routes for picking and packing and delivery, to reduce processing and transportation costs.
- Better inventory management: Accurate demand forecasting and inventory planning are key components of delivery management. Proper inventory management reduces the risk of overstocking or stockouts, leading to cost savings and improved cash flow.
- Employee satisfaction: Optimized, streamlines processes and effective communication lead to smoother workflows for employees, increasing their job satisfaction and reducing stress levels.
Efficient delivery management contributes to customer satisfaction, operational excellence, cost savings, and enhanced brand reputation. It is a critical aspect of modern eCommerce business operations that enables them to remain competitive and meet the ever-increasing demands of today's consumers.
How to improve the delivery management in eCommerce
Improving delivery management in the context of eCommerce is crucial for enhancing customer satisfaction, increasing sales, and optimizing operational efficiency. Here are several strategies to consider:
1. Inventory control and management
Maintaining accurate inventory levels isn’t an easy task. However, not investing the necessary resources can cause stockouts and overstocking situations that will impact not only your delivery times, but also the satisfaction of your customers and your warehousing costs.
Implementing inventory management software or WMS to monitor stock levels and forecast demand accurately is, for this particular purpose, the best solution to avoid future headaches and improve the overall delivery management process.
2. Warehouse efficiency
Finding out what is the ideal warehouse layout for your picking and packing processes is a practice that requires studying the inventory, the physical space, common orders and product combinations and the implementation of technology like barcode scanning and automated sorting of the products for maximum efficiency (slotting).
3. Route optimization
Creating smart and efficient routes for the shipment of your orders is another way to improve the delivery management if your customers often complaint about delivery lead times or if you feel like you are paying high fuel costs or working with courier companies that could be potentially overcharging you.
4. Prioritize packaging
Use appropriate packaging materials to protect products during transit and reduce the likelihood of damage. This, in the long run, will reduce the number of shipping damages, minimizing losses and customer complaints.
5. Returns and exchanges management
Develop a clear and efficient process for handling returns, exchanges and refunds. Make it easy for customers to initiate returns and provide them with clear instructions on how to do so.
Even better, enable them to manage their own return or exchange with an advanced software system like Outvio, encouraging them to make an exchange or receive store credit, instead of returning products and losing the sale. Try it now.
6. Clear communication
One of the keys to improving the delivery management in eCommerce is to provide accurate and detailed order and shipping information at all times.
Delivery options, ETDs, and any potential delays should be told as soon as possible in order to achieve clear communication and improve the delivery management process.
Once the order leaves the premises, a real-time tracking system that allows customers to monitor the status and updates on the order is key to reduce their anxiety and number of questions, as well as the number of tickets in your customer service team.
7. Customer feedback
Last, but not least. Always pay attention to customers’ feedback and use it to keep improving your delivery experiences. Find areas of improvement, strengths and differentiators from your competitors and use this information to grow as a business.
What to look for in a delivery management software
Now that you have the most basic knowledge and understanding of what has to be done in order to improve your deliveries, you may be looking into delivery management software systems to implement in your eCommerce business.
The most important functionality to look for is:
- Updated tracking information for both retailer and buyer
- Customizable and automated notifications on order status and location
- An automated and simple returns and exchanges system
- Communication with customers via email, SMS, social media platforms
- Advanced analytics that measure the success of your internal eCommerce operations
Outvio is the right tool for medium to large eCommerce businesses invested into the customer experience and long-term success. Try it now.
Delivery management KPIs
There are a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) that help businesses track and assess the performance of their delivery management processes. For example:
- On-time delivery rate: This is the percentage of orders delivered on or before the promised/estimated delivery date. This is a fundamental factor in the minds of the customers.
- Delivery accuracy: This KPI shows the percentage of orders delivered without errors or inaccuracies, such as wrong items, missing items, or incorrect quantities.
- First delivery attempt success rate: While this one isn’t 100% dependant on the eCommerce business, this KPI can highlight underlying factors such as wrong delivery times or inefficient couriers. The first delivery attempt success rate is the percentage of orders successfully delivered on the first attempt, without any unsuccessful delivery attempts or redelivery requirements.
- Average delivery time: The average amount of time it takes for an order to be delivered from the time it is placed. This can be, for example, compared with competitors’ average delivery times and customers’ claims on delivery lead times.
- Delivery cost per order: The average cost associated with delivering each order, including shipping fees, handling costs, and any other related expenses is an important metric to follow when trying to measure the needed resources and effectiveness of your delivery services.
- Delivery complaints or issues: The number or percentage of customer complaints or issues related to delivery, including damaged items, delays, and other delivery-related problems can give an accurate vision of the need to improve your delivery management.
- Delivery cost vs. Revenue: This is the ratio of total delivery costs to the revenue generated from each delivered order. This helps assess the cost-effectiveness of delivery operations.
Regularly monitoring these KPIs, analyzing trends, and making adjustments to your delivery processes can help you optimize delivery management and provide a better experience for your customers and maintain sane costs.
Effective delivery management is a vital link connecting customer orders and the retailer. It encompasses dozens of taskst that aren’t easy to manage, and even harder to master.
To overcome its complexity, eCommerce businesses often rely on delivery management software, WMS, efficient picking routes, and streamlined courier services to improve the delivery management process and achieve all of its benefits.
From cost reduction to increased customer satisfaction and repeat sales, efficient delivery management presents many advantages.
To improve your eCommerce delivery management, you should focus on factors like accurate inventory control, implementing warehouse efficiency measures, optimizing delivery routes, prioritizing secure packaging, refining returns and exchanges processes, ensuring clear communication, and heeding customer feedback.
By monitoring the most important delivery and eCommerce KPIs for your eCommerce business, you’ll be able to know if the strategies that you implemented are truly working for your business, or if you need to put into practice other kinds of measures.
And, to improve your delivery management even more, trust a software system like Outvio, to start delivering experiences instead of simply handing out orders. Try it now.