Inaccurate Shipments and How to Deal with Them

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An issue many e-commerce businesses encounter without the assistance of a 3PL is misplaced orders – meaning, orders that are sent to the wrong location. Not only does this frustrate the customer and increase the estimated time of arrival, but if it becomes a constant error, it can tarnish your brand’s reputation.

Inaccurate shipments are often a big stressor and prove to be expensive on a constant basis, for both customers and merchants. This causes shipping delays which can jeopardize customer loyalty, and cost your business future revenue. This is why it’s crucial to understand how e-commerce businesses can prevent inaccurate shipments and what to do if any of these issues arise.

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What Causes an Inaccurate Shipment?

An inaccurate shipment happens when an order isn’t shipped correctly. This can include the wrong product being packed, the wrong order being delivered, or completely misplaced items within the warehouse, leading to compromised ETA.

These errors are highly inconvenient for customers and your business. In the modern era of Amazon, shoppers now expect their orders to be accurate and their deliveries to be fast (maximum 2-day delivery). This means when they receive the wrong items or are forced to wait longer while your business fixes the issue, customers will be disappointed with their experience and likely seek to shop with a competitor for their next purchase.

Damaged Business from Inaccuracies

If an inaccurate shipment occurs, customers must now go to the trouble of contacting customer support to get the issue resolved. If customer service is lackluster, it will only frustrate customers further, and leave them with a negative impression of your brand.

This may also include leaving bad reviews online, which will turn prospective customers away from buying your products. Your brand’s reputation could face a ripple effect of negative publicity if your shipping and deliveries are not accurate.

On top of this, rerouting packages to the correct destination and receiving returned items to inventory can add a hefty amount to your operational costs.

Prevention Through Inventory Checks

Picking mistakes and inventory management issues are some of the most common causes behind shipping inaccuracies. Routinely performing inventory checks and auditing your inventory helps to ensure that your inventory count is accurate, allowing you to make sure that your SKUs are stored in the correct locations. This also improves picking accuracy and efficiency.

Prevention From Order Management Software

Investing in order management software (or OMS) allows you to capture customer information (in an automated fashion) as orders are placed and can help avoid any human errors. With the right OMS, you can ensure that shipping labels are accurately printed and placed to prevent packages from being sent to the wrong sorting facilities.

Quality control is another key aspect of any great shipping experience. Before orders go through the final package sealing stage, you should have a system in place for checking that each order contains the correct items that are undamaged. These final quality checks must include checks for accurate labels and destinations. This will confirm that each package will be sent to the correct location and within their accurate ETA.

Prevention Through 3PL

When handling order fulfillment and shipping in-house, it can be easy for frequent inaccuracies to happen – especially if your business is not experienced in the e-commerce logistics sector.

This is why many e-commerce companies choose to partner with a 3PL (third-party logistics company) to improve order accuracy and prevent shipping errors. With a third-party logistics company like Simple Global, we’ll help manage your inventory, pick and pack orders, operate with advanced WMS technology, and connect your business with carriers at competitive rates. With these tools, your operations are able to run smoothly and efficiently, enabling your company to grow and scale globally.