There are many reasons why consumers use Amazon, fast shipping times among them. And when customers subscribe to Prime, they can get their orders the same day or the next.
Even with these perks, Amazon isn’t perfect. One-third of Amazon customers in the US receive late packages on a daily basis. While you can put the blame on Amazon in FBA cases, there are times when the seller is responsible for their shipping delays.
Have you wondered how Amazon shipping delays are affecting your business? Here are the common causes of Amazon shipping problems, how they affect sellers, and common solutions to this problem.
How Long Do Amazon Orders Usually Take to Deliver?
Several factors impact how long it will take to receive an Amazon package. The answer also depends on whether or not a customer is a Prime member.
Amazon Prime members access many perks, such as free expedited shipping. Prime members have various shipping options available at checkout.
Most two-day shipping is free with no minimum purchase requirement. Prime members can choose other options however. For instance, three-day shipping in fewer stops or same-day shipping at a low rate (or free if you buy a certain amount of eligible products).
Amazon customers who don’t have a Prime membership can expect their order in 3-4 business days, though shipping fees will apply.
That said, non-Prime customers may be able to receive free shipping by opting for delayed delivery, usually arriving in 5-8 days. There are other ways that non-Prime members can get free shipping. Customers may have to spend a certain amount to achieve that threshold.
Common Causes of Amazon Shipping Delays
Even though Amazon is usually on-time with deliveries, there are many reasons why customers may receive late packages—and they may not all be related to your business or even Amazon.
It’s still important to understand why shipping delays happen so you can prevent them in the future.
There are many examples of inventory problems that can cause shipping delays. Stock shortages can happen whether you handle your own fulfillment, use Amazon FBA, or seek another third-party solution.
Dead inventory can also clog your inventory system, making it difficult to manage your popular and sellable items.
It’s up to the seller to track their inventory and ensure that you have enough products in stock. If you receive sales after your item has been sold out, you will experience Amazon shipping delays until you restock.
Increased Product Demand
Sellers experience product demands for different reasons. Certain items are more popular during specific seasons, such as jackets during the winter. This demand can also cause holiday shipping delays. Massive sales will also create more demand.
No matter the reason for your product demand, proper inventory management becomes more difficult during peak sales seasons. If you lose track of your inventory, this can cause Amazon shipping delays.
3PL and Courier Problems
Even if you keep up with your inventory during busy seasons, your 3PL or courier could lag. In addition, many couriers, including distributors for Amazon, partner with USPS, UPS, or FedEx.
While this eases the burden for couriers, it can make your parcels more difficult to track—especially in cases of Amazon shipping delays.
Why do third-party services cause shipping delays? This can be due to many reasons, such as missed collections, late pickups, and capacity overload.
Sometimes, Amazon shipping delays aren’t always the seller’s fault. This is the case if your customer lives in a rural area.
Since these customers live far from a warehouse or postal office, Amazon or your 3PL will need extra time to ship these orders. They may also require using alternate delivery options.
Bad weather is another example of Amazon shipping delays that are out of your control. Snowstorms and heavy rain make driving impossible.
Extreme weather, specifically tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes, will force shipments to become delayed until the emergency clears up.
In these cases, Amazon or your 3PL will hold the package until the weather improves.
How Amazon Shipping Delays Affect Sellers
Regardless of the reason for shipping delays, these affect sellers in significant ways. Most sellers will experience negative customer reactions and fewer sales. But if the problem persists, Amazon could penalize sellers.
If Amazon shipping delays cause customers to wait too long to receive their order, they may cancel it instead. You’ll be forced to initiate a refund, losing money on that sale.
According to the FTC, sellers must ship out an order within 30 days. In this case, your customer can dispute the transaction, where you’ll be forced to refund the purchase.
If your business struggles with Amazon shipping delays, your former customers will start supporting competitors. This will result in fewer sales.
Customers demand fast shipping. Same-day delivery services are now worth $7.93 billion and are becoming more in demand. Buyers will notice if your package arrives late and that will reflect their decision to continue supporting your business.
Negative Customer Response
Amazon makes it easy for customers to leave reviews and state their experience ordering from your business. And if you struggle with Amazon shipping delays, your customers won’t hesitate to leave negative feedback.
Poor reviews will deter potential customers from ordering your products–especially since 95% of consumers read reviews before purchasing items.
If your business continually experiences Amazon shipping delays, you will be penalized. This can happen for many different reasons. For example, Amazon will notice if you have backlogged orders and will promote your competitors over your store.
Amazon will still penalize your business even if you have no backlogged orders but still delay deliveries.
Fast shipping is a core part of Amazon’s business, and the e-commerce giant will track a metric called Late Shipment Rate. If your Late Shipment Rate exceeds 4%, Amazon may deactivate your account.
Related content: How to Liquidate Inventory on Amazon FBA
Strategies to Prevent Amazon Shipping Delays
Shipping delays impact your business negatively, whether or not you’re to blame. While shipment delays aren’t always in your control, there are still some best practices that can prevent late deliveries.
Monitor Your Inventory
Proper inventory management techniques can prevent backlogged and out-of-stock orders. Here are 2 great solutions to start with:
- Create an effective product sourcing strategy so you always have items in stock.
- If you use FBA, Amazon has a demand forecasting tool that predicts future sales based on historical data.
There are also other stock management tools and services you can use.
Use a Reputable Shipping Service
The best fulfillment providers will offer shipping details for sellers and consumers, even if they must partner with another carrier. Most should also provide shipment tracking with estimated delivery dates.
Amazon can also handle deliveries for you with their FBA service.
Track Performance Metrics
You can track many performance metrics on Amazon, such as Late Shipment Rate. If these metrics aren’t in the ideal range, you can fix them before Amazon penalizes your store.
You can also gauge these metrics to determine if you need to improve any other part of the fulfillment process.
Offer Excellent Customer Service
Even if the late delivery wasn’t your fault, you still need to exercise high-quality customer service to retain your buyers. If customers have late delivery complaints, refer to the tracking and contact your courier to find answers.
Always update customers on their order and shipping. Even if your order is late, this level of customer service will still build trust and reduce any negative feedback your store may receive.
Do You Need Help Solving Your Amazon Shipping Delays?
Many factors affect your performance on Amazon, shipping being one of them. But are you struggling with Amazon shipping delays, inventory management, and metrics in a less-than-perfect range?
If so, AMZ Advisers has a dedicated team of eCommerce experts who can elevate your performance on Amazon and other marketplaces. Click here to learn more about our services.
Stephanie Jensen has been writing e-commerce content for seven years, and her copy has helped numerous stores rank on Amazon. Follow her on LinkedIn for more insight into freelance writing and creating high-quality content.