Combatting Chargebacks Due to Shipping Delays
Shipping delays are the bane of merchants’ existence these days, second only to fraudsters making increasingly clever attempts to defraud. Unlike fraud, merchants are often caught unaware by angry consumers demanding chargebacks for valid purchases. With a little awareness and proactive planning, this is something merchants can combat.
Shipping Delays Seem Here to Stay
The global pandemic threw shipping logistics to the wind, with ecommerce shops left doing their best to manage consumer expectations during an extraordinary time. But, when even Amazon isn’t able to guarantee delivery times, you know the world is in a logistical pickle.
The pandemic forced many retailers to take up residence online, either significantly expanding online offerings or creating entirely new consumer hubs. We saw many merchants diving headfirst into the global ecommerce world, with little understanding of what it entailed, and very little insight into the international shipping challenges they would be facing.
The worldwide health crisis exacerbated these challenges, certainly, but shipping goods cross-border was never an easy and quick process to begin with.
Although there seems to be a slight recovery, with shipping timelines returning to their usual levels, impacts are still being felt globally.
Whether or not shipping as a whole ‘returns to normal,’ having the pulse of the global marketplace and its shifting logistical relationships will form the basis upon which companies will be built to last. As part of that, merchants must start by having a firm grasp of their own shipping realities and potential pain points – including clearing customs and associated fees.
Taking The Shock out of International Shipping Costs & Delays
Depending on where you’re shipping to, shipping delays can be anywhere from a week to six months – and yes, some locales report six-month delays. This doesn’t happen for every item, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the same item you’ve sent without a hitch to the same destination country countless times.
Why do some things (the same exact things) clear customs quickly, while others are held up for excruciatingly long amounts of time? About 80% of the time, there’s a problem with the associated paperwork. But that still leaves 20% for improper packaging, unpaid taxes or trouble with the shipping address.
Even if the package makes it through all of the checks at the border, there can often be additional fees upon delivery. Consumers are often unaware of the extra charges they’ll face and this can result in returns at the expense of the merchant. This means merchants are out customs and shipping fees, and should brace for the inevitable negative consumer reviews.
Being Proactive About Shipping Delays
When merchants are proactive and communicate clearly to consumers, they’re often able to avoid any bad reviews. Their shoppers are far more understanding than most merchants give them credit for.Consumers can be challenging on many fronts, but they’re also much more understanding than merchants give them credit for.
Creating, and prominently posting, clear shipping requirements is incredibly important. Helping consumers understand that they may not have their items by the end of the month gives them the opportunity to reconsider the purchase. And sharing a disclaimer around the overall shipping process, including every variable we’ve detailed above, ensures they’re aware of potential delays and fees – and why each is happening.
This way, if they do move ahead with the transaction, they have reasonable expectations and the transaction is unlikely to haunt you down the line as a “merchandise never received” chargeback.
Merchants are often fearful that they’ll chase potential customers away – and this is a valid concern, as some will choose to do business elsewhere. But those who choose to click ‘buy’ regardless are the customers you want anyway. The rest are chargebacks and negative reviews waiting to happen, and that is far more harmful in the long-run than a missed sale!
Reach out for more insight around how to get proactive with potential customers and offer them payment and shipping alternatives that make sense for them.