Did your eCommerce Delivery Miss its Target?

The most frequent complaint that I hear about ecommerce is not about the purchase process but about delivery.

From having to take time off work because the courier can’t tell you when your order will be with you, to receiving a card informing you that they tried to deliver and you weren’t in or even, as has happened recently to me, having my order dropped in a random place near to my house with no note to say that it had been delivered.

Admittedly I don’t make it particularly easy for people to deliver as I live down the end of a longish drive and we have an electric gate which is designed to keep our local scrap merchants at bay.

However, two recent incidents got me thinking about the damage that poor delivery can do to the reputation of the online retailer as well as to the cost and inconvenience that results.

In the first instance, we stumbled across our rain sodden parcel that had been left in the vicinity of the gate – even though we have an entry phone on the gate which would have enabled the driver to deliver the parcel to the door.

More disturbingly, my wife bought an expensive bracelet from Links of London which was delivered, presumably by a neighbour, in a plastic bag, opened but with the contents luckily still inside the packaging.

Both examples demonstrate the lack of care and attention that some couriers pay to getting the goods to you and rather remind me of the advert that I saw of the Fed Ex courier literally dropping off a new computer.

It also raises the question of who pays when goods go astray.  You might reasonably have thought that Links of London would require the courier to have had a signed delivery note as the bracelet was worth well over £100.

I’ve no doubt that there are lots of stories similar to mine.

Let us know your worst from the funniest to most annoying – I’m sure that there will be lots to choose from.

  • Laura

    I am currently still waiting for my order to be delivered!

    Nearly 2 weeks after ordering and receiving an email stating that my order has been dispatched the item failed to materialise. So after a 20min phone call to an 0845 number (most of the time I was stuck on hold listening to dreadful music) I discovered that my original order had been dispatched into the postal system but than then disappeared!

    Lucky the item I ordered was still in stock, so I have had a replacement re-ordered and dispatched to me free of charge. Just hoping that my item arrive this time.

  • Guy,

    This is realistic and interesting post. It clearly underscores how important partner and ecosystem relationship are.

    Whenever one does business with an entity, that entity owns what ever happens between all endpoints of the services/goods delivery. Many organizations do not appreciate how those end point interactions are so very critical, and they do not invest enough in managing those endpoint interactions. By not managing these endpoint interactions as a part of their core products/services, these entities ultimately pay the price through lost customers, customer dissatisfaction etc…

    There are many factors at play to be able to manage endpoints (or entire value chain from customer’s first interaction till goods are delivered), but having visibility (through data) across all aspects of these interactions is a first and most challenging step. Having good quality data across the value chain will enable organizations to objectively understand quality and standards of their service all the way through the value chain.

    I just hope that Links of London has a good data management practices in place. Hope they capture this post start looking at if the delivery problem is systemic?



    • Guy

      Thanks for your comment Vish.
      I agree that the retailer needs to be responsible for the end to end customer experience, however, sometimes that is easier said than done.
      In my view poor delivery can arise as a result of a number of issues ranging from poor shipping data, the responsibility of the retailer, to inefficient systems and processes on the part of the third party courier, many of whom operate on wafer thin margins and lack either the capital or incentive to change the way the operate.
      A harsh but probably fair assessment of the state of the delivery market.

  • Akshay Vyas

    If it’s missed. Then who will be responsible? off course, the store owner! What do you think, is this a fault of human operating this store, or the system like order management and so on doesn’t work perfectly? I recommend store owner to use customized order management system.