In the logistics and E-commerce sectors, you may often see us use the term Proof Of Delivery or POD. This is one of the most critical constituents of any delivery system, whether we speak of a complex supply chain or the parcel journey for a smaller retailer with a minimum number of stakeholders involved.
Apart from verifying that the final mile of the parcel is completed successfully and the consignee has received their goods, POD is also used as an official document to testify the details of every delivery. This would typically include information about the time and date of delivery, designated driver, drop location, parcel recipient, and the attached fee for the service provided. In other words, PODs are here not for the reassurance of customers but also the senders.
In the next few sections, we are elaborating more on the role of Proof Of Delivery and why we think these electronic receipts are a must-have for every business and customer ordering or organizing their delivery via third-party logistics providers such as Zendfast.
What is Proof Of Delivery?
It’s important to highlight that the Proof of Delivery or POD is a verification document proving that the parcel has been delivered appropriately. By that, we mean the safe transportation of the goods from point to point, as tasked by the customer. Our courier solution provides electronic signature receipts that can be used by both stakeholders- the sender and the recipient to confirm whether or not the item has been delivered correctly, which means the right time, place, and condition of the parcel. Altogether, this information makes the POD a legally acceptable verification for both parties in case of damage, order completeness, or else.
Why is proof of delivery important for your business?
If you are only just starting an E-commerce business in Ireland and the logistics process is weighing down your fulfilment department little by little, you may need to consider outsourcing your delivery services as a way to cut back the costs and maximize your time efficiency. In that case, PODs will be one of your tracible verification that your goods have reached their final destination, as agreed. It will keep your operations transparent for both you and the customer in case of problems with delivery or just for keeping a track record of everything that is happening with regard to your shipping process.
A very important reason for keeping a neat stack of PODs is unhappy customers or dishonest behaviour. If you are a responsible online retailer that safeguards its reputation and counts on facts arguing with fake negative reviews can become a challenge if you don’t have solid proof and clear-cut transparency with your delivery system. Our electronic receipts can substantiate any claim you make against dishonest customers in case of refund or return attempts on the grounds of improper shipping.
Another very important component of proof of delivery that many customers forget about is the signing and the receiving of the receipt at arrival. By doing so, the customer releases both the retailer and the courier provider from liability and responsibility to do with the parcel. This is why recipients should always make sure to check to inspect the goods and the condition in which they are being delivered. In case there is substantial damage during transit that may affect the functionality of the package, the customer must notify the driver and the seller immediately before signing the receipt.
In case of damaged goods during transportation and returned shipment, proof of delivery can serve as a form of proof to the seller to their courier provider. When it is neither the customer nor the retailer’s fault but the driver’s, your business can use that verification to negotiate with the courier company how the fee can be waived on the part of the provider and prevent future incidents that could harm their reputation in front of the customer.
It is not uncommon for recipients to forget to check the parcels at the delivery point when there has been damage. This is definitely more difficult to argue, which is why advise that you inspect your parcel carefully on the outside for cracks, leakage, or other visible damages. If your customer reports damage during delivery after signing the POD, they could still claim that the contents have arrived in a poor condition within the next 24 to 48 hours. It’s always useful to include as many remarks to the POD as possible when leaving it to the seller for review.
What are the advantages of Proof of Delivery?
Regardless of whether you are running a small or large E-commerce business, operating same day, next day, or on-demand deliveries on a daily basis, PODs are absolutely necessary for the customer and your business. They can help you prevent unwanted disputes while you figure out how to resolve the issue that has occurred during the parcel’s journey. Zendfast offers e-signature receipts and picture confirmation at delivery that serves as double proof in case a customer has been left dissatisfied with the looks of the item. This is an invaluable piece of verification that secures the sender against unsubstantiated customer claims.
We already mentioned that Proof of delivery is excellent for transparency and keeping on top of your logistics operations. It definitely helps with streamlining the whole process and accounting for any mistakes as they occur. This information can be used to improve the whole shipping process altogether and boost your customer satisfaction in the future.
Speaking of happy customers, in the digital age of today, everybody appreciates a little extra reassurance that their online purchases are handled safely and the services are provided timely as promised. If you value your brand image and customer loyalty, we advise you to prioritize your shipping in every leg of the parcel journey, especially the final mile of delivery to your recipients!