Partial delivery

With a partial delivery, your customers can order products that are in stock as well as products that are not in stock, and have them delivered in waves. This leads to happier customers because they can get some of their products immediately. Once the remaining products are back in stock and you get them as a backorder, you send them to the customer in a second delivery.

What does partial delivery mean?

A partial delivery can happen when a customer orders several items, and the delivery is split into several parts, in case one or several of the products are not in stock at the time of order. This allows the customer to receive a part of their order shortly after placing it, and the remaining products once they are back in stock.

More information and advice related to e-commerce can be found on our e-commerce page.

How does partial delivery work?

It’s up to each e-tailer to decide if partial delivery is something they want to offer or not. When offered, the customer can make a choice at check-out.

If the customer chooses partial delivery, it’s common that the shipping cost is charged for each individual shipment, but this too is up to you as the seller to decide. If the customer chooses not to have the products partially delivered, the entire order will be shipped once all products are back in stock.

Advantages of partial deliveries

The obvious advantage to offering partial deliveries is that your customers don’t have to wait for all products to be back in stock. Let’s say your customer has ordered a laptop and a laptop bag. The laptop is in stock, but the bag will take 20 days to be back in stock. With partial delivery, the customer will receive the laptop straight away, or in a few days. The laptop bag will be delivered 20 days later. If the order had not included the option for partial delivery, the customer would have to wait 20 days for the laptop too.

As an online trader, it can be a competitive advantage to offer partial delivery as an option. Many customers appreciate quick delivery. If at least one or several products arrive just a few days after placing the order, the buyer will still have a positive memory of the purchase and will probably leave a better review on for example Trustpilot or Google.

Disadvantages of partial deliveries

There are few disadvantages to partial deliveries. For the customer, it can be perceived as negative if you charge extra for this service. On the other hand, many find it perfectly natural to pay for the option to have an order split into multiple shipments.
As a business owner, partial deliveries can lead to more administrative work. If you lack a good system for logistics, there’s also the risk of forgetting about orders, or that the paperwork becomes overwhelming.

In general, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to partial deliveries. It’s an optional extra that gives the customer the possibility to receive a part of their order faster than what would otherwise be possible.

PostNord can help you with partial deliveries

In PostNord Business Portal you will find the service Skicka Direkt Business which can be used by online retailers to easily send packages to customers. With our API you can offer various shipping options in your webstore, including partial deliveries.

The customer gets a smooth purchasing experience and can choose between different shipping options. As a business owner, you maintain control of all your packages straight from the portal. If customer claims come in regarding a shipment, you can also administrate these via your business account.

Frequently asked questions about partial deliveries

What is a partial delivery?

A partial delivery is when an order is split into several parts, so that the customer can get the available products straight away while other products are shipped to the customer as soon as they are back in stock.

Why do companies offer partial deliveries?

Companies offer this service to give their customers the opportunity to get a part of their order as quickly as possible. It’s an extra service which many consumers appreciate.

What do partial deliveries cost?

It depends. Some online traders offer partial delivery for free, while others charge for each individual shipment.

Who uses partial deliveries?

Customers that shop online and who place an order in which some products are out of stock can choose partial delivery in order to get some of the products earlier.