The Ultimate Guide to Reshipments: Causes, Process, Best Practices, and Prevention

As experts in the e-commerce industry, we understand the importance of delivering a smooth and satisfactory experience for customers. However, reshipments are an inevitable part of the business, especially in Southeast Asia’s rapidly growing e-commerce market. 

In fact, a report by Forrester Research found that up to 30% of all e-commerce deliveries require reshipments due to issues such as damaged goods or incorrect orders.

With this in mind, we’ve created this Ultimate Guide to Reshipments to help businesses navigate this challenging aspect of the industry. 

In this guide, we will cover the causes of reshipments, the reshipment process, best practices, and how to minimize them. Whether you’re a seasoned e-commerce professional or just starting out, we hope this guide will provide valuable insights and practical tips for improving your reshipment management. So, let’s get started and learn how to handle reshipments like a pro!

What does reshipment mean?

In the world of e-commerce, reshipment refers to the process of shipping an order again due to issues such as damage, incorrect delivery, or loss in transit. Reshipments occur when the original shipment does not meet the customer’s expectations or requirements, and a new shipment is necessary to fulfill the order.

At its core, reshipment ensures customer satisfaction and delivers on the promise of a successful transaction. Whether it’s due to a mistake made by the seller or shipping carrier, reshipments are an opportunity for businesses to go above and beyond to rectify the situation and build a positive relationship with their customers.

We understand that reshipments can be a hassle and a costly aspect of the e-commerce industry, but with proper planning and management, they can be a valuable tool for building customer loyalty and improving the overall delivery experience. By following best practices and minimizing reshipments, businesses can create a positive, hassle-free delivery experience for their customers.

When Are Reshipments Necessary?

Reshipments become necessary when an initial delivery does not meet the customer’s expectations or requirements. This could be due to various reasons, such as damaged goods, incorrect orders, or lost packages. In these circumstances, it is essential for businesses to offer a reshipment in order to maintain customer satisfaction and trust.

It is important for businesses to have a clear reshipment policy in place, outlining the circumstances under which a reshipment will be offered. This policy should be easily accessible to customers and should clearly state the process for requesting a reshipment. By having a clear reshipment policy and process, businesses can effectively manage reshipments and minimize any negative impact on customer satisfaction.

What are the causes for reshipping an order?

Reshipments are necessary when an initial delivery does not meet customer expectations. There are several common causes of such issues, including:

1. An order arrived damaged

One of the most common reasons for reshipments is when an order arrives damaged. This can be due to various factors, such as:

  • Poor packaging: If the original package is not properly secured or protected, it may become damaged during transit. This could include tears in the packaging, crushed corners, or broken items.
  • Rough handling during transit: Due to rough handling by couriers or postal workers, packages may become damaged during transit. This could include dents, scratches, or even breakages.
  • Damage during storage: Orders that are stored for extended periods of time, such as in a warehouse or distribution center, may become damaged due to environmental factors such as temperature changes, moisture, or other types of exposure.

2. The wrong order was delivered

Another common reason for reshipments is when the wrong order is delivered to a customer. This could be due to:

  • An error in picking and packing: During the process of picking and packing orders, mistakes can sometimes occur. This could include selecting the incorrect item or including the wrong item in a customer’s order.
  • Incorrect information being entered during the ordering process: Sometimes, customers may enter incorrect information when placing their order, such as an incorrect shipping address or product selection. This can lead to the wrong item being delivered to the customer.

3. An order is lost in transit

On rare occasions, packages can become lost during transit, which can cause significant inconvenience and frustration for customers. This could be due to:

  • Carrier error: The package may have been misrouted, or the delivery driver may have accidentally lost the package.
  • Weather-related issues: Adverse weather conditions, such as storms or heavy rain, may cause packages to become lost during transit.
  • Theft: Packages may become lost or stolen during transit, either by the delivery driver or by other individuals.

In each of these circumstances, it is important for businesses to offer a reshipment in order to rectify the issue and maintain customer satisfaction. A well-structured reshipment process can help minimize these issues’ impact and ensure that customers receive their correct order as quickly as possible.

It is important for businesses to closely monitor their delivery process and identify the root cause of any issues in order to minimize the risk of reshipments in the future. This could include investing in better packaging materials, implementing more rigorous quality control measures, or using more reliable carriers. By addressing these causes, businesses can provide a more consistent delivery experience for their customers and build a positive reputation for reliability and customer service.

Overall, reshipments are an important part of the delivery process, and they play a crucial role in maintaining customer satisfaction and trust. By understanding the causes of reshipments and taking steps to minimize them, businesses can ensure they are providing the best possible delivery experience for their customers.

What is the reshipment process?

The reshipment process is the series of steps a business takes to replace a customer’s original order with a new one due to various reasons such as damage, wrong item delivered, or loss in transit. 

The process can significantly impact customer satisfaction and the overall reputation of the business. Hence it’s crucial to have a smooth and efficient reshipment process in place. Here are the key steps involved in the reshipment process:

1. Identify the need for reshipment 

The first and most crucial step in the reshipment process is to identify the need for a reshipment. This can be done by reviewing customer complaints, tracking delivery reports, or monitoring product returns. It is important to have clear policies and procedures in place to identify the need for reshipments in a timely manner. Once the need for reshipment is identified, it’s crucial to act promptly to resolve the issue and prevent any potential negative impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

2. Notify the customer 

The next step is to notify the customer about the need for reshipment. The customer should be informed about the reason for the reshipment and the steps being taken to resolve the issue. This can be done through email, phone, or any other preferred method of communication. It is important to be empathetic and understanding, as this will help to establish a positive relationship with the customer and ensure that the customer feels valued and respected.

3. Obtain necessary information

Before the reshipment process begins, obtaining all the necessary information from the customer is essential. This information will be used to process the reshipment and to ensure that the customer receives the correct order. The necessary information may include the order number, the name of the recipient, the delivery address, and the preferred shipping method. It is also important to verify that the delivery address is correct and to obtain any necessary authorization for changes to the delivery address if needed.

4. Confirm with the customer 

Once all the necessary information has been obtained, it is important to confirm with the customer to ensure that the details of the reshipment are correct. This can be done through a phone call or email. It is important to confirm the delivery address, the preferred shipping method, and the expected delivery date. It is also important to ensure that the customer is satisfied with the process and that all their concerns have been addressed.

5. Process the reshipment

After obtaining all the necessary information, the next step is to process the reshipment. This may involve ordering a new product if the original product is no longer available or sourcing a replacement product. The product should then be properly packaged and labeled, considering the specific requirements for the chosen shipping method. The product should be packaged in a manner that will prevent damage during transit and ensure that the customer receives the product in good condition.

6. Monitor the delivery

Once the reshipment has been processed, it is important to monitor the delivery. This can be done through order tracking, which allows you to see the shipment’s status and estimated delivery date. It is important to keep the customer informed of the delivery status and to respond to any questions or concerns. Monitoring the delivery is essential to ensure that the customer receives the correct order and that the reshipment process is completed successfully.

7. Evaluate the process 

Finally, it is important to evaluate the reshipment process to determine what worked well and what can be improved. This may involve reviewing the delivery process, the product quality, and the customer’s experience. It is important to identify any areas of the process that can be improved, such as the packaging or labeling, and to make changes to the process to prevent future mistakes. This will help to ensure that future reshipments are completed more efficiently and effectively and that the customer experience is improved. Additionally, it is important to track and analyze the data on reshipments to identify trends and patterns that may indicate areas that need to be addressed to prevent future reshipments.

By following these steps, e-commerce businesses can ensure that the reshipment process is smooth, efficient, and effective. This will help to minimize losses, maintain customer satisfaction, and grow the business over time.

Reshipment best practices

Reshipment best practices are crucial for e-commerce businesses to ensure a smooth and efficient process while providing excellent customer service. The following are some of the best practices that e-commerce businesses should implement to ensure a seamless reshipment process.

1. Provide shipping insurance for high-value orders

Shipping insurance is a great way to protect high-value orders during transit. This way, if a product is lost or damaged, the business can quickly and easily reship the order without any additional costs. Providing shipping insurance can also help to build customer trust and confidence, as it shows the business is taking extra steps to protect its purchases.

2. Keep a digital paper trail

Maintaining a digital paper trail of the entire reshipment process is essential. This includes keeping records of all correspondence with the customer, the steps taken to process the reshipment, and the delivery information. Having a digital paper trail also helps to ensure that the process is transparent and that the business can easily track and review the reshipment process in case of any issues.

3. Maintain communication with the customer

Maintaining communication with the customer is crucial for a successful reshipment process. It is important to keep the customer informed of the reshipment status, to respond to any questions or concerns, and to provide clear and concise instructions on what they need to do. Keeping open communication helps to build customer trust and confidence, as well as ensure that the reshipment process runs smoothly.

4. Take every step to prevent future mistakes

it is important to take every step to prevent future mistakes during the reshipment process. This may involve reviewing the delivery process, the product quality, and the customer’s experience. Making improvements to the process where necessary helps to prevent future mistakes and improve the overall customer experience. This includes addressing any areas where there may be room for improvement, such as updating product descriptions, providing better packaging, or improving delivery times. By taking every step to prevent future mistakes, e-commerce businesses can ensure a seamless reshipment process and provide excellent customer service.

5. Implement a streamlined reshipment process

In order to make the reshipment process as efficient as possible, it is important to have a streamlined process in place. This could involve creating standard operating procedures for handling reshipments, automating certain steps in the process, and making use of technology to keep track of reshipments. By having a streamlined process, e-commerce businesses can save time and resources and ensure that reshipments are handled promptly and effectively.

6. Provide a positive customer experience

The ultimate goal of any reshipment process is to provide a positive customer experience. This can be achieved by providing prompt and courteous service, being empathetic to the customer’s situation, and going above and beyond to resolve the issue. By providing a positive customer experience, businesses can improve customer loyalty and reduce the risk of negative online reviews.

7. Offer alternative shipping options

In some cases, a customer may prefer a different shipping method for their reshipment. Offering alternative shipping options can improve the customer experience and provide greater flexibility. This can include options such as expedited shipping or delivery to a different address.

8. Consider using a third-party reshipment provider

For businesses with high volumes of reshipments, using a third-party reshipment provider can be a cost-effective solution. These providers offer a range of services, including product fulfillment, order tracking, and customer support, and can help businesses streamline the reshipment process and improve the customer experience.

9. Regularly review and improve the reshipment process

It’s important to review the reshipment process and identify areas for improvement regularly. This can include tracking the number of reshipments, analyzing customer feedback, and implementing changes to the process to improve the customer experience and prevent future mistakes. By regularly reviewing and improving the reshipment process, businesses can increase customer satisfaction and reduce the risk of future reshipments.

10. Train employees on reshipment procedures

It is important to train employees on reshipment procedures in order to ensure that they are equipped to handle reshipments in a timely and effective manner. This may involve providing regular training sessions and making sure that employees have access to the resources they need to handle reshipments. By investing in employee training, e-commerce businesses can ensure that their employees are equipped to handle reshipments and provide an excellent customer experience.

Implementing these best practices can help e-commerce businesses to handle reshipments effectively and provide an excellent customer experience. 

By taking a proactive approach to reshipments and making use of technology and best practices, e-commerce businesses can ensure that reshipments are handled efficiently, effectively, and in a manner that meets the needs of their customers.

Bonus: Reshipment Process Best Practices

Reshipments are a normal part of the e-commerce industry, and it’s important to have a process in place that helps customers get your packages as quickly as possible.

Here are some tips for reshipment processes:

1. Good Communication is Important

Whenever a customer sends an email or makes a phone call, they need to receive a quick response. It’s important that you answer all questions and address any concerns they may have so they feel confident about your company. You also want to let them know if there will be any delay in getting their product or if they will receive more than one package.

2. Make it Simple for Your Customer to File a Claim

You’ve spent a lot of time and effort to make sure your customers are protected, but what happens when the unthinkable happens?

It’s essential that your company has a customer service plan in place before an order is shipped out, so you can handle claims quickly and efficiently. If you don’t have one, now is the time to start putting one together. As part of this plan, make sure you have procedures in place for filing claims, including:

  • Clear instructions on where to file claims. Include contact information for customer service representatives and other support staff who can answer questions about filing claims.
  • A clear description of what constitutes a claimable incident (i.e., damaged/missing items). This will help avoid confusion or frustration among customers who aren’t sure if they should file a claim or not.
  • A simple process for filling out forms and attaching documents (if necessary).

3. Streamline the Reshipment Process

You’ve probably heard of the “sunk cost fallacy.” It’s the tendency to continue doing something because you’ve invested so much in it already. The sunk cost fallacy can be dangerous for an e-commerce business because it can lead to bad decisions, like continuing with a product that isn’t selling well or trying to improve a product that doesn’t need improvement.

One way businesses can avoid falling victim to this trap is by streamlining their reshipment process.

The reshipment process is how you handle orders that are returned to you from customers. This isn’t just about the logistics of getting boxes back and forth — it’s also about keeping your customers happy and reducing any negative impact on your reputation.

4. Offer Shipment Protection

The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of an error is to offer shipment protection.

You can do this by:

  • Offering free reshipment. This means that if an order was lost or damaged during shipping, you will send them a new one free of charge. This can help with customer satisfaction and reduce the number of refunds you have to issue. If a customer asks for reshipment, make sure to document it in your orders and inventory apps so you can easily fulfill this request.
  • Offering partial refund. If a product is returned due to an error or damage in shipping, offer a partial refund instead of fully refunding the money back to the customer. Offer a discount or something similar instead of refund 100% of their order amount so that they still have some skin in the game even if there was an error on your part. This shows that you’re willing to take responsibility for your mistakes and are willing to fix them quickly and efficiently while still giving customers some benefit from their purchase (though not as much as they’d get if they didn’t need any reshipments).

5. Keep track of everything 

It’s important to keep track of everyone who has been affected by the problem with your shipment so that you can handle each case individually and ensure each customer receives their product as soon as possible. This can include tracking who has already been sent a replacement shipment, who has received their original order, who hasn’t received anything yet, etc.

6. Be proactive with customers 

When there is a problem with an order, don’t wait for the customer to contact you — reach out first! This will help reduce the time it takes them to get their product back into their hands, which will help prevent them from becoming frustrated with your company.

Reshipments vs. Returns & Exchanges

In the world of e-commerce, it is important to understand the difference between reshipments, returns, and exchanges. These processes may seem similar, but they have different outcomes and requirements. Here is a brief overview of the differences between each process:

1. Purpose

Reshipments are used to replace an order that has been lost, damaged, or delivered incorrectly. Returns, on the other hand, are used to return an item that the customer is not satisfied with, either due to a defect or simply because they changed their mind. Exchanges, on the other hand, allow the customer to exchange an item for a different size or color.

2. Cost

Reshipments can be costly, as the business is responsible for shipping, handling, and product replacement costs. Returns and exchanges can also be costly, especially if the product is not in its original condition or if the customer has changed their mind.

3. Timing

Reshipments generally take longer than returns or exchanges, as they involve a new order, shipping, and delivery process. Returns and exchanges can be processed more quickly, as the product simply needs to be shipped back to the business and processed.

4. Customer Satisfaction

Reshipments are often seen as a solution to customer complaints and can help to improve customer satisfaction by replacing an order that has gone wrong. Returns and exchanges can also help to improve customer satisfaction but may not always be the solution, especially if the customer has changed their mind.

Understanding the differences between reshipments, returns, and exchanges is important to provide the best possible customer service and experience. Each process has its own costs, benefits, and timing, so it is important to weigh these factors when deciding the best course of action.

How Important is Order Tracking in Order Reshipments?

Order tracking is crucial in order reshipments as it allows both the business and the customer to monitor the delivery process.

From the business perspective, order tracking helps ensure that the reshipment is delivered promptly and to the correct address. It also helps identify any potential issues in transit, such as delays or lost shipments, so that they can be quickly addressed.

From the customer’s perspective, order tracking provides peace of mind and transparency into the delivery process. Customers can see the status of their reshipment and anticipate the delivery date, which helps to manage their expectations and reduces frustration.

How to Minimize Reshipments?

Minimizing reshipments is important for e-commerce businesses as it helps to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. To minimize reshipments, e-commerce businesses should implement the following strategies:

  1. Accurate Order Processing: Ensure that all orders are processed accurately and in a timely manner. This includes checking the delivery address, product details, and shipping information.
  1. Improved Packaging: Use proper packaging materials to protect the product during transit. This will help to reduce the number of damaged products and minimize the need for reshipments.
  1. Delivery Verification: Verify the delivery address and recipient information before shipping the product. This will help to reduce the number of wrong deliveries and minimize the need for reshipments.
  1. Proactive Communication: Keep customers informed about their order status and delivery information. This will help to minimize any confusion or misunderstandings that may lead to reshipments.
  1. Order Tracking: Implement an order tracking system that allows customers to track their order from when it is placed to when it is delivered. This will help minimize the number of lost or delayed shipments and the need for reshipments.
  1. Quality Control: Implement quality control processes to ensure that all products are of high quality and meet customer expectations. This will help to reduce the number of returns and minimize the need for reshipments.
  1. Continuous Improvement: Regularly evaluate the reshipment process and make improvements where necessary. This will help to minimize reshipments and improve the overall customer experience.

By implementing these strategies, your e-commerce businesses can minimize reshipments, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.

Bonus Tip: Clear product descriptions and images reduce reshipments

Including clear and detailed product descriptions, along with high-quality images, can also help to minimize reshipments. Customers are more likely to be satisfied with their purchases when they clearly understand the product’s features, specifications, and appearance. High-quality images can help to give customers a better understanding of the product and can help to reduce misunderstandings and incorrect orders. By providing clear product descriptions and images, e-commerce businesses can help to reduce the need for reshipments, increase customer satisfaction, and improve the overall customer experience.

Advantages of using reliable and efficient shipping carriers for reducing reshipments

Using reliable and efficient shipping carriers can have a number of advantages when it comes to reducing the number of reshipments. Some of these advantages include:

  1. Improved delivery accuracy: Reliable shipping carriers have robust delivery systems in place that can help ensure that packages are delivered to the correct address and on time. This can reduce the number of reshipments due to delivery errors or lost packages.
  1. Reduced damage during transit: Shipping carriers that invest in good packaging and handling practices can help to reduce the risk of damage to products during transit. This can lead to fewer reshipments due to damaged products.
  1. Improved customer experience: Shipping carriers that provide reliable, fast delivery and good customer service can help to improve the overall customer experience. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction, which can in turn help to reduce the number of reshipments.
  1. Increased visibility into the delivery process: Some shipping carriers offer real-time tracking and delivery updates, which can help to provide customers with greater visibility into the delivery process. This can help to reduce the number of reshipments due to confusion or lack of communication.
  1. Better return management: Shipping carriers with efficient and streamlined return management processes can help reduce the number of reshipments. This can include offering easy and convenient return options and providing clear instructions for the return process.

Using reliable and efficient shipping carriers can help reduce reshipments, which can, in turn, help reduce costs and improve the overall customer experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, reshipments can be a major headache for e-commerce businesses, but with the right processes in place, they can be minimized and even prevented altogether. By providing shipping insurance for high-value orders, keeping a digital paper trail, maintaining communication with customers, and taking steps to prevent future mistakes, businesses can improve their reshipment process and reduce the number of reshipments they handle. 

Additionally, by partnering with reliable and efficient shipping carriers, businesses can ensure that their deliveries are on time and arrive in good condition, reducing the likelihood of reshipments. Finally, having clear product descriptions and images can help reduce reshipments by ensuring that customers receive the right product the first time. With these tips in mind, e-commerce businesses can work towards a seamless reshipment process and provide a positive customer experience. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the things we explained, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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