Back Office Automation

Ways for Online Retail Business to Deal with Stolen and Lost Packages

April 24, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

You probably know that disappointing feeling when you order something, but it never arrives. You wait for several days, contact the merchant, and gradually start losing your hope because of the USPS lost package.

Based on statistics, 43% of consumers had their packages stolen in 2020. 61% know someone who reported package loss. Besides, the number of USPS lost packages steadily keeps growing. In just a year, it increased by 7%.

Whereas several customer guides explain what to do if a package is stolen and how to get money back to the credit cards, online stores severely suffer. They need to recover the damage to buyers from their budget. This undermines their profitability and ruins customer relationships.

Therefore, in this blog post, we want to focus on both damaged parties – buyers and merchants. You will find out what your online retail business should do if a package is stolen, and most importantly, how to prevent package theft or loss.

Why Do Shipments Get Lost or Never Reach the Destination?

There are generally two reasons why customers don’t receive their shipments. Porch pirates steal parcels right from the front door, or a shipment company fails with delivery. While the reason for package loss is clear in the case of package theft, delivery issues vary.

FedEx, UPS, or USPS lost packages don’t happen often, but when they do, this is usually caused by:

  • smeared or illegible shipping label that prevents scanners from forwarding the package to the correct location,
  • the invalid shipping address provided by the merchant,
  • outdated contact information of the buyer.

Although the shipment companies do their best to reduce FedEx, UPS, or USPS lost packages, sometimes shipment fails. Want to know what to do if a package is stolen or lost? Check out the guidelines for online retail businesses and consumers below.

lost shipment

For Online Store Customers: What to Do if Package is Stolen or Lost

While complaining, many customers say, “I track my package, and it looks delivered, but I’ve never received it.” Instead of taking immediate action to find the thieves, they waste time as they don’t know what to do if a package is stolen. That’s why here we want to share a simple plan of action.

What to do if your package is stolen:

  1. File a police report. When a USPS package or any other shipment is stolen, it’s a punishable crime, even if you have ordered a five-dollar T-shirt. Make sure to record all details, like USPS tracking numbers or mailing dates, before filing a claim. If you have video doorbells or security cameras, this can considerably speed up the investigation, of course.
  2. Inform the delivery service about the stolen item. Let the shipping company or merchant know what happened. Don’t forget to provide sufficient proof and order details. The company may decide to reimburse you for the loss or replace the undelivered product. Besides, if the order is protected with shipping insurance, you can file an insurance claim to get a better refund policy.

What to do if your package is lost:

  1. Contact the carrier. The shipping company is the first party that can help you locate the lost shipment. Although you may use the “Track My Package” services, they don’t always show accurate data. Hence, you should first inform the corresponding vendor about FedEx, UPS, or USPS lost packages.
  2. If the carrier cannot help you solve the problem, contact the merchant. Human errors still happen sometimes, and sometimes sellers delay delivering the orders or send them to the wrong destination.

It’s also always a good idea to ask neighbors about the shipment. Maybe, they took it because you weren’t at home. Or the shipping company mixed up street numbers. Misdelivery is a common reason for lost shipments.

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For Online Retail Businesses: How to Reduce the Number of USPS Lost Packages

Whereas customers mainly deal with the consequences of USPS lost packages, merchants can act more proactively. Proper address verification and delivery management can reduce the number of lost mail or packages and improve customer service. Here are the critical ways for a business to make order delivery more accurate.

Retail Tip #1. Integrate address verification software

When customers share their contact information, it’s essential to verify it instantly. This will allow you to fill your database with reliable addresses and reduce the number of misdelivered shipments. Besides, address validation is a highly effective way of identity validation. Your customer interactions will become more secure with a lower risk of fraud

Discover About Free Address Standardization vs. Paid Address Scrubbing

Retail Tip #2. Help customers with address autocomplete

Buyers often share incorrect addresses when they are in a hurry. They don’t want to waste time formatting or detailing delivery information. If you help them fill out details with address autocomplete, this will optimize the checkout process and improve the accuracy of shipments. All addresses will have ZIP codes, correct street names, and proper format. As a result, a shipping provider will have fewer delivery issues.

address autocomplete

Retail Tip #3. Regularly update your mailing lists

How often do you need to re-verify customer addresses? At least every 90 days. This way, you will be sure you have up-to-date information, and your shipments will always reach the destination. Without regular checks, your database will become outdated very soon. People usually change their place of residence without letting you know. If you store their previous address data and don’t update it, shipments will get lost.

Retail Tip #4. Cooperate with shippers offering “Track My Package” services

Both your employees and buyers must be able to check when the package was delivered. This will give you better control over the delivery progress and enable buyers to know when exactly the order arrives. “Track My Package” services should be either available on your website or the website of the shipping vendor.

Retail Tip #5. Organize local offline order-pickup points

If you run a large online store, consider offering something like Amazon lockers. Amazon prime lockers are designated slots installed in different locations that allow people to get their parcels whenever they have time. A unique 6-digit code is enough to access the shipment.

You can use lockers or open an offline pick-up point in several places where your buyers are focused. People will be able to order products online but take them personally without risking losing shipments. It’s a win-win strategy. You provide customers with multiple delivery options and reduce the number of USPS lost packages.

delivered order

How Inkit Helps Businesses Reduce Lost Item Claims

Inkit is a multi-functional reach enablement platform that helps businesses optimize their processes through automation.

Verify is one of Inkit’s products designed specifically for automated address verification and autocomplete. When integrated with your systems through an API, Verify assists your customers with filling out delivery details at the checkout. Buyers get address suggestions and have their information automatically validated in real-time. Thanks to ultimate data accuracy, the risk of misdelivery is minimal.

In addition to address verification capabilities, Inkit supports document rendering and mail delivery. With Inkit’s Render, you can automatically convert HTML to PDF documents to generate invoices, bills, and other documents. With Inkit’s Send, you automatically deliver print communications to destinations based on custom triggers or events.

Want to solve your lost package problem right now? Contact us to get access to Inkit.

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