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In the early weeks of the pandemic, more people started shopping online—and more people experienced problems with their online orders. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “during April and May of 2020, more people reported problems with online shopping than in any other months on record. More than half said they never got the items they ordered.”

Providing proof of delivery (POD) is essential, both for your business and your customers. Proof of delivery can help protect your business against claims of unreceived goods and gives your customers peace of mind—especially if they weren’t home to take delivery of their order personally.

You need to provide proof of delivery because if a customer claims they never received their items and requests a refund, you can’t prove otherwise. As a result, you’ll have to absorb the cost of unnecessary refunds, replacement orders, and repeat deliveries which can eat away at your profit margins and drastically slow the growth of your business.

Jump ahead to the topics that interest you most:

What Is a Delivery Receipt?

A delivery receipt is an acknowledgment of successful delivery. It lets the company and customer know that the order has arrived at its intended destination. There are several different types of delivery receipts:

  • Paper: The recipient signs a proof of delivery form, and they get to keep one copy, while the delivery person keeps a second copy for the business.
  • Digital signature: The recipient signs a digital proof of delivery form on a mobile device. They receive a copy to their email address, and the company automatically gets a signed copy too.
  • Photo: If the recipient isn’t home, the delivery person takes a photo showing the delivery details: where they left the item, delivery address, and the time of delivery.

Delivery receipts are also called proof of delivery, which is just one of the many transportation-related terms you should know.

What Is the Purpose of a Delivery Receipt? 

The primary purpose of a delivery receipt is to provide the customer with up-to-date delivery information and confirm that their order’s been delivered successfully. It also provides a paper (or digital) trail to protect against customer disputes or credit card chargebacks. There are many benefits of providing customers with proof of delivery:

  • POD can improve the customer experience. Delivery receipts give you better visibility into order statuses, so you can see if orders are delayed, lost, or delivered on time. This visibility enables you to monitor and improve your delivery service to offer the best experience possible to your customers.
  • It can help improve shipping and delivery accuracy. POD gives you confirmation that customers’ goods have arrived and what items were delivered in that package, so you can see that customers have received what they ordered.
  • Delivery receipts can help the company settle disputes with customers or delivery companies. Sometimes drivers lose packages or mark items as delivered before they arrive to hit their delivery targets. Proof of delivery can help settle disputes arising from these issues—either customer complaints or problems with your couriers.
  • It can improve office and administrative efficiency. Our proof of delivery feature sends an automated confirmation from the driver’s app to your office, cutting down on paperwork and meaning you’ve got a copy as proof if you need to tackle disputes about the order.

Proof of delivery benefits the company, the customer, and the delivery company by keeping all parties on the same page.

What to Include in Your Proof of Delivery or Delivery Receipt

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Your delivery needs to contain detailed information about the order, delivery details, and proof of delivery to be of value to your company and your customer. 

You need to provide your customer with all the information to connect their order with the delivery they received. That will give them peace of mind and protect your company if you experience customer disputes.

Here are seven items you should include in your proof of delivery:

  1. Order number. The order number is an important reference number that helps the customer and company quickly identify the item or order if there’s a problem with their order or their delivery goes missing.
  2. Seller information. You should include your company name, business address, telephone number, and other contact information such as company email address on your delivery receipts. This information shows where the order has come from so the customer can easily get in touch if there’s a problem with their order.
  3. Shipping address. You should include the shipping address on your delivery receipt to show where the order’s been delivered to. This can help identify delivery problems—for example, if the order was sent to the wrong address or if the customer wasn’t in to receive their order.
  4. Billing information. Include proof of who paid for the item and the total amount paid. These details are helpful in case of customer disputes that lead to credit card chargebacks, as you’ll have the customer’s billing information on hand.
  5. Description of items delivered. A complete packing list confirms the contents of the order. This information can help in case of customer disputes, for example, if an item doesn’t match the description or something’s missing from their order.
  6. Date and time of delivery. This is important for providing delivery confirmation. If you provide paper delivery receipts, your delivery person can fill this in at the same time as getting a signature from the customer. If you provide electronic delivery receipts, your system may automatically record the date and time of delivery when the courier provides proof of delivery.
  7. Proof of delivery. This could be the recipient’s signature, e-signature, or a photo uploaded by the delivery person showing that the order has been delivered. This is essential to confirm that the order has been delivered to the property or person who ordered it.

Proof of Delivery Template

There are many ways to create proof of delivery templates, such as in Microsoft Word or PDF format. You can customize this delivery receipt template for your own company by adding your company information, order information, and proof of delivery.

Proof of Delivery.pdf

Save Time by Automating Proof of Delivery

Make it easier for delivery drivers to provide a delivery receipt by using OptimoRoute’s Proof of Delivery feature.

Delivery staff can collect electronic signatures, take a photo of the successful delivery in their OptimoRoute Mobile Application, and record delivery notes, so the customer (and you) knows where the order’s been left. You can install the app on Apple or Android devices, which is more convenient for drivers than carrying around dedicated proof of delivery systems or rugged devices.

Our Proof of Delivery feature collects information via the mobile app and automatically feeds it back into the OptimoRoute Web Application. This means you get immediate access to all your delivery receipts, rather than needing to wait for drivers to get back to the depot and upload all their PODs or hand over the paper copies. 

OptimoRoute can help your business automate proof of delivery, improve efficiency, and cut costs. Get started with OptimoRoute by signing up for a free trial.