When shoppers report a misdelivered package, or worse, a stolen package, your brand needs to be ready with a solution that will not only help your shopper feel better but also will keep their business with you.

One of the biggest customer fears around shopping online is that they’ll never get what they ordered, and regardless of which carrier you use to get your products to your shoppers, you’ll need to have an answer to that issue. Whether you’re looking to replace a USPS misdelivered package, a UPS misdelivered package, or a Fedex misdelivered package, there are plenty of ways you can help soothe your shoppers’ pain. The key is to keep their perception of shopping with your brand as positive as possible. 

To do that, you’ll need to: 

  • Teach your shoppers how to report a misdelivered package
  • Provide instructions on how to return a misdelivered package
  • Explain the misdelivered package claim process
  • Send a replacement package or offer an exchange

Learn more about how package delivery can make or break your brand this year in The Future of Reverse Logistics.

Here’s how to deal with misdelivered packages, regardless of which carrier your store uses.

Teach your shoppers how to report a misdelivered package

You can’t fix a problem you’re not aware of, so the first thing you’ll need to do regarding misdelivered packages is to teach your shoppers how to report them. Make sure that you have clear instructions on your site regarding how to report misdelivered packages. 

You can even provide detailed subsections on the differences regarding USPS misdelivered packages, UPS misdelivered packages, Fedex misdelivered packages, and more, depending on which carriers your store uses. 

Provide instructions for how to return a misdelivered package

With misdelivered packages, or stolen packages, your shopper will be looking for a replacement—and, unless the carrier can track down the misdelivered packages, it will generally be on you as the merchant to replace them. 

Because misdeliveries sometimes happen, it’s a good idea to provide instructions on your site regarding on how to return a misdelivered package. If someone who isn’t your original customer is on the receiving end of a misdelivered package, they may want to try to find out how to go about getting that package to its intended owner themselves. 

Explain the misdelivered package claim process

Because of how often packages are misdelivered, it’s critical to make sure that every delivery you send out includes shipping insurance, which will pay for the replacement cost of the item in the event that it goes missing. While most major carriers include free liability coverage for up to $100, it may be worth signing up for a third-party shipping insurance policy that includes more flexible terms, much higher coverage limits, and faster reimbursement. That means, if a package is lost or stolen, you’ll be able to reimburse them for the value of the item, and expedite a new order to your shopper.

If you do have shipping insurance, you’ll need to provide detailed instructions for your shoppers to use when initiating a misdelivered package claim. 

In some cases, especially if you use a traditional carrier insurance policy, your shopper may need to wait several days to file a claim, just in case it was accidentally processed as delivered ahead of schedule. If your carrier provides photo proof of delivery, the shopper can examine the photo to see if it matches a nearby house, and contact the resident if they feel comfortable, or let the carrier know that it was truly a misdelivered package. In that case, they may be able to get the original package dropped off or redelivered to their house without the need for a replacement.

But if your carrier isn’t able to track down the package, your shopper will anticipate getting a replacement item free of charge. In this case, providing a great shopper experience is important: You should provide a replacement of the original item within an expedited time frame if possible. Even if your brand wasn’t responsible for the original loss, you want to ensure that the shopper doesn’t have to pay twice.

Send a replacement package or offer an exchange

In most cases, your shopper will want you to immediately replace the misdelivered package, but in some cases, especially if they needed the item for a specific event and the date has already passed, they might decide to request a refund instead.

That’s when your brand really loses out. Not only are you losing the profit from the item—but you’re also losing the ongoing relationship with that shopper, and the chance to drive ongoing revenue from them and their network of friends and family. That’s why, especially for misdelivered packages, it’s important to incentivize exchanges as an alternative to refunds. 

USPS misdelivered packages

The only exception is, of course, when the shopper has a history of filing misdelivered package reports. If this is a frequent occurrence, you can use data analytics tools to identify customers who should not get a refund or replacement item, and set policies for shoppers who abuse your replacement policy.

Related: How to minimize risk to shopper data in ecommerce

By using an automated returns solution like Loop, you can support your shoppers with a self-service platform that enables them to easily report misdelivered packages. They can then directly request a replacement, refund, or an exchange for another item with no need to engage a live support agent.

If a shopper requests a refund, Loop can automatically offer them “bonus credit” that they can use to purchase any item from your available inventory, recommending similar products to the one that they’d previously purchased, or showcasing a catalog of your bestselling items to inspire them. 

By offering them additional credit to replace the item they no longer want, a little can go a long way. Stacking an extra $10 in credit on top of a $50 purchase price might mean that they decide to purchase an even more costly item—an $80 sweater, for instance. Incentivizing exchanges also helps you keep the shopper in your pipeline, even despite the original misdelivered package. 

Want to learn more about Loop? Book a demo today.