Common e-commerce pitfalls

E-commerce pitfalls - order fulfilment issues


A large proportion of complaints made by e-commerce customers relate to how their orders were - or were not - filled. To tackle such problems you need to address various issues.

Product delivery problems

Troubleshoot potential delivery issues:

  • Only promise what you can realistically deliver, especially when demand is high.
  • If you contract out the delivery of products purchased via your e-commerce site to a third-party distribution service, select that service very carefully.
  • Avoid luring customers by offering a product at low cost whilst charging a relatively high delivery rate. This practice rarely works and is more likely to cause problems in customer relations.
  • Ensure your packaging is robust enough to make a safe delivery.

Failing to keep the customer updated on progress

Provide regular information:

  • Make a point of confirming orders as soon as possible. Customers are entitled to written confirmation of their order under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. They can be generated automatically via email and are expected by most customers. Read more about selling online and the law.
  • Provide customers with a way to track the progress and availability of their order. Many carriers now send an email confirmation that an order has been dispatched, whilst others use online tracking systems that enable customers to check progress online.

Having an acceptable returns policy

Put a reasonable returns policy in place:

  • Put in place an acceptable means of handling customer returns and ensure any customer dissatisfaction is professionally resolved.
  • Consider offering a 100 per cent no-quibble money-back guarantee if customers don't like or want the product.