'I Got The Wrong Order!': The Solutions Retailers Need
Ever order something online, wait patiently for the product to arrive, and realize that the product you received is not what you ordered? This weekend, that very frustration hit me! Specifically, I ordered a set of wheels for my dishwasher. The washer is a few years old, and the wheels on the bottom tray are falling off. However, the frustration is that the time I was going to spend on the weekend to fix my tray was lost when I opened the package that arrived with the new wheels. They arrived, but the wrong wheels were sent. Despite expressly selecting the bottom tray wheel parts, somehow the top tray parts were shipped, and I received the wrong order!
A Voxware study finds that 54% of respondents cite receiving the wrong item as the most prevalent reason for returning an item that they purchase online. It is no surprise then, that 97% of respondents point out that the returns process is key to their intention to shop with a retailer.
Online Order Errors
Online purchases can easily result in the wrong order being shipped to the consumer. Perhaps the warehouse picker is having a bad morning, or have not had their coffee. As in my case, the items are similar, and I understand how that may have confused them. However, when you open the package, it is immediately clear by the size and shape that the shipment was incorrect.
Alternatively, an item might be in the incorrect package. Think of a pair of red gloves incorrectly packaged in the black glove box. Or , there are the online product purchases that are shipped while damaged, or were damaged in transit. Eurostat found that 9% of European consumers making online orders have received wrong or damaged goods.
Another Reason for Click & Collect
First, the wrong or defective online order does raise another point for click and collect orders. They are just as convenient as standard online orders. They are available at the convenience of the shopper (store hours are often better than postal outlet hours, more pickup locations). These orders also give the shopper the opportunity to check the product, before walking out of the store. It means there is the additional bonus of being able to resolve a wrong or defective purchase, before walking out. For consumers like myself, it means no surprises, or wasted time by not being able to use the purchase right away.
Returns Remedy For A Wrong Order
However, if your customer does not choose the click and collect option, what can you do? Fixing these wrong orders or defective shipments, means having a system that can handle these return situations. If your retail chain is or plans to roll out omni-channel services, then make sure your order management system has solid returns capabilities. Several clients have come back to us after an RFP was awarded to a light OMS vendor (either a sub-par system, light add-on module, or a vendor coding a solution for the customer – for the first time). A robust retail order management system will have returns capabilities built in to the solution that are ready to go right out-of-the-box! Don't put up with a platform solution that after installation, requires consultants and coders to come in to actually build your order management.
Look for an OMS that has robust returns capabilities like being able to handle items mismatches between the packaging and goods, receipt-free returns, and the ability to accept a return back into your inventory in real-time. Simple features like this make life much easier on your in-store staff and customers. It also makes your retail chain much more effective, by immediately making those returns in good condition – available for resale without the need to discount the product. In this light, take a quick peak at the OrderDynamics Returns Datasheet, for more details on a robust solution.
No More "That's Not What I Ordered!"
Whenever and wherever possible, I try to use a retailer’s click and collect offering. Not only do I want to support omni-channel retailers, being an early adopter myself (in North America), but it also gives me a chance to double check the product for accuracy. It is yet another reason why customers like in-store pickup as an option. However, there will always be cases when a shopper needs returns. For these cases, like a mismatched item and package, incorrectly shipped product, or a defect; you need a powerful returns solution that can handle different scenarios.
An order management system is a major investment. It takes considerable effort to deploy, integrate into your retail systems, and to train your staff. Select wisely, and carefully – and make sure it has strong, feature-rich returns capabilities. Make sure a “that’s not what I ordered” comment isn’t a show stopper. Your staff, and customers will thank you for it- if not in actual “thank you” notes, at least in repeat purchases!
Charles Dimov is Director of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.
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