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07 May 2022

SMS Delivery Notification for Retail Logistics: The Business Benefits

Texting has long been the first choice of logistics companies for communicating with staff, drivers, and customers. Studies have shown that most people read their SMS texts within three minutes of receiving them—which is about as speedy as messaging gets.

For retailers and last-mile delivery companies who use texting to communicate with customers, the telecommunications carrier’s SMS delivery report serves to inform whether the message has been received by the customer or not.

The popularity of SMS keeps it one step ahead of the growing pack of digital messaging apps available on the market, and for ecommerce retailers, the SMS delivery notification plays a pivotal role in ensuring customer satisfaction.

Staying in Texting Touch with Your Customers

In days gone by, when expecting a delivery, you would probably have been told that your order would be delivered, for example, ‘sometime on Thursday’.

And, as luck would have it, the delivery van would arrive minutes after you had nipped out to the supermarket for an urgent item. You would be greeted on your return with a note saying, ``Sorry, you were not at home, please phone 1234567 to rearrange delivery.” 

Those frustrating days of waiting for uncertain deliveries are over, thanks to SMS communication between last-mile delivery providers and customers waiting to receive their orders.

Typically, there are three text communications for every successful delivery:

Order confirmation

Notification of shipping

Delivery confirmation
 If you happen to be out when the delivery assistant arrives, you will likely get an SMS informing you that the  assistant was there. This SMS delivery notification sequence is designed to keep customers—who purchase from ecommerce merchants or other businesses offering delivery— informed of the end-to-end status of their orders.

It is a simple and effective system—provided, of course, that the customer receives the relevant text message!

Why Some SMS Messages Don’t go Through?

Even though the open rate of SMS texts is somewhere around 98 percent (compared to a 20 percent open rate for emails), some do fail to reach the intended recipient.

These are some of the reasons for the failures:

The phone is off

The number is invalid

The phone is out of range

The receiver is abroad and has not activated roaming

The receiver has blocked your number

A filter has blocked the message

For good customer care, it is essential to act quickly if a message fails to go through.

What is SMS Delivery Notification?

 Every text message you send is received by your SMS server, known as a short message service center (SMSC). The server stores the message and attempts to deliver it. If the intended recipient receives the message, the SMSC will notify you that the text has been delivered.

For any of the reasons mentioned above, the message may not be delivered.

In this case, your SMS delivery report will likely comprise one of the following messages:

1. Failed

The message could not be sent. 

2. Rejected (soft bounce)

The recipient’s number is unavailable at this point.

3. Rejected (hard bounce)

The recipient’s number is invalid or no longer exists.

4. Delivery Status Unknown

The carrier has tried to send the message but cannot confirm that it has been delivered.

5. Expired

The message was not delivered within the validity period of the relevant mobile network.

If you receive a delivery report indicating that a message did not reach the recipient, you will, of course, try to reach him or her in a different way, perhaps via email. But if you don’t monitor the notifications, you won’t know that the customer is still in the dark about the intended dispatch—and a failed delivery attempt is likely.

SMS Delivery Report on Android and iPhone 

A feature on an Android phone allows you to check that your text message was delivered to the recipient as intended. 

By default, the Android delivery report for messages is off, so you need to enable it manually. If in doubt about how to request an SMS delivery report, follow this guide.

By contrast, Apple’s iPhone does not support delivery reports for a standard SMS platform. However, IOS devices have an iCloud-based messaging system that generates message delivery reports through the iMessage platform.

Have you Got the Message? 

Using text message notification for your delivery service offers many benefits, for you and your customers.

For you: You can interact with your customers directly, instantly, effectively, and at little cost. 

For your customers: They get to enjoy a smooth delivery service that includes the benefit of being able to track their orders from the moment they place them via your website.

If yours is a busy ecommerce operation, you should consider investing in a business text messaging platform which integrates with point-of-sale software and a delivery notification system. For smaller businesses, there are many automated SMS systems available on the market.

Why not do some research and find the one that best suits your needs?