How to Reduce your Order Cancellations and Returns by 80%
A man works online as he holds a branded cardboard box at a warehouse for an online store, Jumia in Ikeja district, in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Non-Delivered orders or items is one of the major problems of selling online. Having orders canceled or returned means no money for you and for Jumia.

One way or the other every seller or vendor on Jumia Marketplace must have experienced this. As a matter of fact, we all hate when orders are canceled or returned.

I know of a seller who had 144 orders canceled and returned to her. The first remark she made to the driver undertaking the returns was “I believe all these cannot be mine“.

In the end, it turned out to be ALL HERS.

Both Jumia and the Seller loses money when orders are canceled or returned. The question is: “How do you reduce your order cancellation and returns by 80%?

Ship or orders on-time

Jumia Marketplace Automated system enforces a maximum of 3 working days for you to ship your items to its warehouse for processing and delivery.

To avoid orders placed for your products being canceled by Jumia Marketplace automated system, do the following:

  1. Change the status of new orders received from “Pending” to “Ready to Ship within 24-hours
  2. Process and ship orders received within 0 – 48 hours – (within 2 days). This will afford Jumia ample time to process it and ship it on time before the customer changes his mind due to late delivery.

If you missed the pickup driver or he didn’t come to your place due to logistics, don’t just stay aloof and do nothing – get a vehicle, a truck or a taxi and move your items to Jumia’s warehouse.

Check Out: Jumia SEO: How to Increase Sales on Jumia in 2018

I have done this several times to avoid order cancellation and it paid off. My objective in the marketplace is to sell and make money and whatever it takes, I will do.

Avoid “Grumpy” Packaging

Packaging is key in a presentation. As beauty attracts – the quality of packaging also attracts.

A grumpy package will readily put of off any customer – it gives a perceived sense of the low quality of the items in it and customers might reject an order because it was not properly packaged.

Read through Jumia packaging Guidelines carefully and ensure you do the right thing.

I believe packaging of products is an art that should be mastered. I, therefore, recommend that you give attention to the way your products are packaged either by you or your staff.

Make sure that each order is neatly and properly packaged in order to give a sense of value to the customer.

This will also increase its marketability.

Develop a mini-customer care service

As rule, Jumia contacts every customer who places an order for your products:

  1. To confirm the order
  2. To thank them for placing the order

As a serious seller, this should not end here. You should also have a customer-care system where you contact your customers to thank them for placing the order.

Jumia, either by default or deliberately includes the phone contact of customers in your printable delivery note.

This contact phone number is usually found under the name of the customer. It will not cost you anything to send a message to the customer to say:

“We received your order for …..
We have shipped your order to Jumia for onward delivery to you.
Thank you for shopping with us

Jumia Marketplace”

This message should be sent within 24-hours.

Sending such messages will further increase your credibility and it goes a long way to enhance the work of Jumia Customer Care Service. It helps to keep the customer patient, expectant and committed.

It also helps in reducing the possibility of the customer changing his mind or buying elsewhere. Remember, your aim is to sell, so sending messages to buyers in order to further enhance your sales will boost your income.

Secondly, such a message with your store-name appended at the end creates a top-of-mind awareness of your store-name which in a way is your brand name on Jumia marketplace.

It increases your brand-quality and helps in fixating your store-name in the minds of your customers.

It also spurns them to unconsciously make a return and a repeat order from your storefront whenever they need the items you offer.

Note: Do not abuse the use of SMS or messages to harass customers, neither should you bombard customers with unpleasant SMS’s. Stick to one SMS per order and keep it simple.

Don’t ship expired products or items near expiration date

For those who sell consumables, I recommend that you sort through your products and check their expiry dates.

Do not ship products that have expired or items near expiration date. Customers frown at such and may sue Jumia. It is criminal to ship expired products.

As a rule, you should not ship products that will expire next month or in 2-3 months’ time. Ship products with a long expiration date.

Don’t ship Sub-Standard or Defective Products

Shipping sub-standard or defective product will attract automatic cancellation and return. I know sellers who claim that they shipped products in good condition and when those products were canceled and returned back to them, they were defective or damaged.

I have been a victim too. But I learned from experience that my packaging is key and should be right.

You must understand that there is a human factor involved in everything.

If you don’t package your products with the proper packaging material, the guys in Jumia warehouse might stack heavy items on them and the result is that your products become damaged or defective.

When such is the case, the product will arrive at the customer’s domain either damaged or defective and this will automatically lead to order cancellation or return.

Jumia has “Fragile Stickers“, “Fragile – This Side-Up Stickers” and various sizes of cartons. If you sell fragile items, package and fortify them well in your office or store and place them in cartons instead of flyers.

Place the fragile stickers on the cartons to inform the guys at the warehouse to be careful in handling the package.

This way, your products will be intact and in good order when they arrive at the customers home or office.

If you don’t know how to get the cartons and the stickers, just make a request via email to your account manager. The materials will be delivered to you upon availability the next day.

Ship complete package

In every order, there is a list of items to be shipped. Shipping incomplete items that are supposed to make up an order will attract automatic cancellation or return.

For instance, if a customer order for 10 units of shoes and you shipped 9-units either by mistake, commission or omission, that order would be canceled and the incomplete items returned to you.

Each order should have a check-list and they should be checked to confirm that the items that make up the order are complete before packaging them.

Don’t ship wrong sizes or weights – make sure that the customer gets what he ordered for and is paying for.

If a particular item is not in stock and you have another variant, you can contact Jumia customer care service to advise you on what you should do.

Properly label orders that are broken up in packaging fragments

There are times when an order would contain more than one or two items and it is usually not easy to package them one package. This scenario usually leads to packaging orders in fragments of twos’ three’s, four’s, five’s and so on.

I have had orders spilling over to 20-packaging fragments.

If this is the case, you are expected by Jumia to properly label the packaging fragments so that the operations staff capturing the order will be able to properly capture and enter the details accurately as shipped.

How to label packaging fragments

If you have an order that cannot be packed as one package:

  1. Split them up and bundle them into different packaging fragments (e.g 2 packaging fragments).
  2. Print 4 copies of the invoice or delivery note (2 for each packaging bundled fragment).
  3. On the first 2 invoices write “1 of 2” boldly, just below the bar-code. And on the second 2 invoices write “2 of 2”.
  4. Take the first bundled package fragment and place a copy of the invoice with “1 of 2” written on it inside it. Seal the package. Take the second copy of the same invoice with “1 of 2” written on it and place it on top of the package.

This will be seen by the operations staff and used for capturing. Repeat the same for the second bundled packaged fragment using the invoice with “2 of 2” written on it.

If you don’t package your items this way, the operations staff capturing your orders as shipped will see it as an incomplete order or a partially fulfilled order and would automatically place it for cancellation.

But when the operations staff see’s “1 of 2” on a package, he would know that he should look for another package with “2 of 2” on it.

What he does is to put the first package aside, and sort through other packages until he gets the other pack that completes the order.

This is when he captures the order details and sets its status as shipped – meaning complete.

By doing all that I have highlighted here, you will be reducing your order cancellation and return rates by 80%.

This post was originally seen on JumiaWealthSense