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Are you struggling to find the most effective way to optimise your order tracking process? If so, you’re not alone.

With customers becoming increasingly interested in tracking their orders throughout the delivery process, it’s essential for e-commerce businesses to offer an efficient order tracking system in order to maintain customer retention rates.

1 in 4 customers will not re-order from a store again if tracking wasn’t included.

However, optimising order tracking can be difficult due to numerous factors such as lack of resources and inadequate communication with logistics partners. In this article, we will discuss practical techniques and strategies that can help you to streamline the order tracking processes of your e-commerce store and increase efficiency while improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs.

We’ll explore best practices such as leveraging technology for automation, involving customers in the delivery process, and better communication with delivery partners so you can start paving the path towards success today!

What is Order Tracking and Why it Matters in E-commerce?
10 strategies to optimise order tracking
1: Own the communication and be proactive
2: Offer excellent customer support
3: Offer a branded tracking experience
4: Optimise order confirmation email
5: Gain Customer Feedback About The Delivery Experience
6: Run promotional campaigns to increase sales
7: Automatise tracking
8: Track Returns
9: Provide clear tracking instructions
10: Use your clients’ favourite channels
Invest in e-commerce shipping software with order tracking feature

What is Order Tracking and Why it Matters in E-commerce?

Order tracking is a crucial part of the e-commerce experience for both businesses and customers. It allows merchants to monitor their orders and shipments in real-time, and provides customers with information about the status of their order, ensuring a smooth and stress-free delivery process.

71% of customers prefer to shop from e-commerce businesses that offer real-time tracking updates, and 75% of them will abandon a retailer if they can’t track their order.

Customers want to know the status of their orders, estimated delivery times, and any possible delays. When customers are kept in the loop about their purchase, they feel more in control of the process, which can enhance customer trust and loyalty.

On the other hand, not having a reliable order tracking system can lead to lost sales and negative customer reviews. That’s why improving the order tracking process is so important.

Not convinced yet? Let’s dive into the main benefits that a optimised order tracking process can bring to your business:

  • Reducing WISMO requests: WISMO inquiries can congest customer support, accounting for up to 80% of requests. Implementing an order tracking system reduces call volumes and frees up teams to focus on more complex issues. Branded tracking pages and automated emails keep customers updated on their order status without burdening support.

Also read: 10 ways to reduce WISMO and improve your e-commerce customer experience

  • Giving a sense of security and avoiding anxiety: Order tracking can bring a sense of security and peace of mind. For customers, waiting for an online order can be stressful, but tracking allows them to monitor the delivery status, reducing uncertainty. In addition, for businesses, tracking helps avoid delivery issues and ensures orders reach their destination.
  • Planning the collection: By offering real-time updates on the delivery status, including estimated delivery time and shipment tracking information, businesses can help customers avoid missed deliveries. With order tracking, customers can plan to receive their package or make other arrangements if necessary, such as leaving the package with a neighbour or at a nearby pickup location.
  • Brand reputation: Did you know that order tracking is essential for maintaining a positive brand reputation? 68% of customers write a review, especially negative ones. Having unhappy customers can quickly tarnish a brand’s image online. With order tracking, customers’ needs are catered to, and bad reviews can be prevented, resulting in improved trust and customer satisfaction.
  • Customer retention: Almost all customers expect to monitor their orders during shipping, and 70% are unlikely to return to an online store without order tracking. Investing in systems that provide this kind of transparency is necessary to meet customer expectations, retain them, and avoid losing them to competitors.
  • Reducing costs: By keeping tabs on each customer’s order throughout the entire supply chain, order tracking allows you to uncover inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the shipping processes and order management of your e-commerce.
  • Avoiding delays: By keeping a close eye on the progress of your orders, you can quickly identify issues that could impact your ability to deliver on time. Moreover, order tracking can also help you manage your inventory levels more effectively, which can help you avoid stock shortages and other supply chain issues.

Online order tracking

10 strategies to optimise order tracking

1: Own the communication and be proactive

Let’s face it – when a delivery mishap occurs, customers tend to blame the retailer more than the carrier. And with limited tracking information being displayed by carriers, you need to take control of the communication to provide your customers with accurate insights into their order’s progress.

In fact, when your customers choose to support your brand, they don’t care about your business partnerships or logistics behind the scenes. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in your own delivery tracking and notification system to keep them informed and engaged throughout the post-purchase journey.

Sending proactively relevant and clear delivery updates not only makes for a better shopping experience, but it will also help to reinforce brand loyalty and reduce customer support issues in the long run.

So, don’t sit back and rely on third-parties to do the work for you. Take charge of your communication and own the post-purchase journey to create a seamless shopping experience that keeps your customers informed, engaged, and happy.

💡 Pro tip – Regular tracking vs. Easy Access Tracking

Easy access tracking and regular tracking both serve the same purpose, however they differ on the ease of accessibility and usability.

  • Regular tracking systems may require users to go through several steps, such as logging into a separate platform or entering a tracking number on a carrier’s website, to access the information they need. This can be time-consuming and frustrating for both businesses and customers.
  • Easy access tracking systems are designed to be user-friendly and accessible, allowing users to quickly locate the information they need without any unnecessary steps. They usually offer a dashboard that displays all active shipments and their status in real-time, and send automated updates to buyers, providing an excellent customer experience.

Which one would you choose?

2: Offer excellent customer support

Imagine ordering something online and receiving a notification that your item is delayed, but you have no way of reaching out to a support representative to provide you with more information. Not the best feeling, right?

That’s where offering excellent customer support comes in. It’s essential to have a team of experienced and dedicated customer service representatives to handle any unexpected issues that may arise, like delivery delays or product issues.

💡 Pro tip: Do you provide live support? Integrating a live chat to solve tracking issues can greatly enhance your customers’ experience!

But simply having a customer support team isn’t enough – you must also make it EASY for your shoppers to reach them. A customer should never have to comb through your website’s pages to find a contact form, FAQ page or phone number. It’s a surefire way to lose potential and existing customers.

On the other hand, if they feel heard and understood, the delay may not turn them away from shopping from your site in the future.

Also read: 6 Simple Ways To Improve Customer Service In E-Commerce Logistics

Customer support helping with tracking issues

3: Offer a branded tracking experience

When a customer makes an online purchase and is ready to track his package, don’t just send him to a generic order tracking page. Instead, take advantage of this opportunity and provide a fully customisable, on-brand order tracking page that you own. This page should contain all the information your customers need to track their package, such as carrier and service information, dispatch and delivery dates, package status and location, and the latest updates.

But it’s not just about consistency. Personalisation also plays a critical role. Personalised tracking emails and targeted promotions on the branded tracking page can make the experience unforgettable for your customers. By maintaining brand consistency throughout the post-purchase experience, you can acquire more loyal customers, as 88% of online shoppers are more likely to come back to a retailer that offers a personalised experience.

A branded tracking page is your chance to differentiate your brand from your competition and showcase your messaging when your customers are most receptive. Don’t neglect the post-purchase experience, as it can be a make or break for your brand image.

4: Optimise order confirmation email

Optimising your order confirmation email is crucial to providing customers with an excellent tracking experience for several reasons.

Firstly, a well-written email that includes all the necessary details of the order can alleviate any potential anxiety that customers may have prior to receiving their purchases. This is because customers want to know the status of their orders in real-time, and by providing accurate information, you can create a sense of trust and transparency.

Secondly, a customised email with your brand’s personality and elements can elevate your brand identity and make it more memorable to customers. Consistency in branding in all areas of communication can help reinforce your brand image, increase brand awareness, and distinguish your business from competitors.

Finally, an optimised order confirmation email that includes a clickable tracking button and upsell opportunities can encourage customers to revisit your website and make additional purchases.

💡 Tips to customise your order confirmation emails

  • Personalise the Email: Addressing the customer by name adds a personal touch, making them feel valued and appreciate the effort.
  • Use a Branded Template: Use your business colours, logo, and style elements in your order confirmation email to make sure it stands out and looks professional.
  • Provide Accurate Order Details: Make sure to include all the necessary details of the order like the total cost, order number, delivery details, etc.
  • Add a Call-to-Action: Including a call-to-action (CTA) like a clickable tracking button can make it easier for customers to track their order, and increases the likelihood that they will return to your website.
  • Give the possibility to reply. Add an email address that the customer can respond to directly from the Tracking email.
  • Use your customers’ language. Do you ship abroad? Localise your customer experience and provide your customers with tracking emails in their own language! (with Sendcloud it is automated!)

Make it easy with Sendcloud Tracking >

5: Gain Customer Feedback About The Delivery Experience

By gathering customer feedback throughout the entire buyer journey you can understand what’s working and what needs improving.

For instance, it allows you to measure your carrier’s performance against specific delivery standards and make better shipping choices, meeting your customers delivery expectations.

But why stop at measuring customer satisfaction? You can go the extra mile and link your tracking page to your Google Analytics account. This will allow you to gain more in-depth insights into how customers perceive your brand. And, by collecting and analysing real-time user feedback at all touch-points in the buyer journey, you can identify gaps in your customer experience and bridge them effectively.

Customer testimonials are also an excellent way to showcase ‘social proof’ and instil greater trust and confidence among your customers. So, display positive customer reviews on your website to highlight your brand’s success.

A good delivery experience thanks to tracking updates

6: Run promotional campaigns to increase sales

Using tracking tools can be an effective way to run a promotional campaign for your e-commerce business. As the tracking emails are only sent to those who have previously ordered from your online store, there is zero wasted communication, ensuring that you end up with a one hundred percent reach of your target group.

You can use your branded tracking page to promote special offers, discounts or promotions. By analysing your customers’ purchase history and browsing behavior, you can predict which products would interest your customers and display them on the tracking page. This is an excellent opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell related products to your customers, encouraging them to make a repeat purchase.

You could also use the branded tracking page to offer exclusive discounts, or to promote upcoming product releases. Add a teaser or countdown on the tracking page to create a sense of excitement about your new product offerings.

7: Automate tracking

As your e-commerce business grows, manual order tracking becomes more difficult and time-consuming. By automating order tracking, you can easily scale your operations while maintaining the same level of customer service and satisfaction.

Furthermore, it frees up valuable time for your team, allowing them to focus on other important tasks, reducing workload and the chance of errors.

Automatisation involves employing technology to track orders and provide real-time updates on where orders are in the fulfilment process. By doing this, you can save time, improve customer service, and increase overall efficiency.

There are various ways to automate order tracking, including integrating your e-commerce platform with a third-party order tracking system, using automated email updates, or utilising an API to sync the order data with your internal systems.

A good solution is to use a shipping software such as Sendcloud, that offers an easy integration with various e-commerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, Prestashop. And it allows you to manage all the shipping process, from incoming order to returns in a unique dashboard… and much more.

8: Track Returns

Tracking returns allows you to effectively manage your inventory, identify product flaws, and optimise your return policies to enhance customer satisfaction.

36% of online shoppers consider the tracking of the return parcel the most important element of a return policy.

Furthermore, by tracking returns, you can stay informed about which products are being returned, why they are being returned, and how frequently it is happening. This way you can prevent a high volume of returns in the future and avoid the high cost of restocking returned items.

Last but not least, tracking returns allows your customers to have visibility on the status of their returned item, and receive real-time notifications.

One way to track returns for your e-commerce store is by integrating a returns software solution that automates and streamlines the process. These solutions typically allow customers to initiate a return, generate a return label, and track their return status. They also offer analytics and insights into return trends, which can help you make better business decisions.

Know more about Sendcloud Returns >

9: Provide clear tracking instructions

Including clear instructions on how to track the order it is fundamental to build trust among your customers and make the tracking process smooth. Here some tips:

  • Use visuals: Sometimes, seeing is easier than reading. Consider including a visual guide or infographic on how to track orders.
  • Provide customer support: Let your customers know that if they have questions or concerns about their tracking information, they can contact you directly. Make sure to provide clear contact information for customer support.
  • Anticipate customer questions: Think about the most common questions customers might have when tracking their order, and provide easy-to-understand answers to these questions proactively.
  • Provide the tracking number immediately: Make sure to send a tracking number as soon as possible after the order has been shipped. You can include this in the order confirmation email, and on the order history page.
  • Direct customers to the tracking system: Let customers know where to go to track their package. Provide a link to your tracking page or the carrier’s website, and include instructions on where to enter the tracking number.
  • Use simple language: Avoid using technical terms that might be unfamiliar to your customers. If you do need to use them, provide a brief explanation of what they mean.

10: Use your clients’ favourite channels

Customers who receive notifications in their preferred channels are more likely to engage with them. So, let them choose their preferred channel for tracking updates. This enhances the overall customer experience and reduces the risk of missed or delayed notifications.

But what are your customers’ favourite channels in 2023? Email is on top of the list, but SMS notifications are still quite popular! Have a look below:

Online shoppers' favourite tracking channels

Invest in e-commerce shipping software with order tracking feature

Sendcloud is a shipping software that enables e-commerce businesses to easily manage their shipping process. It offers shipping automation, label printing, tracking, return management and much more.

Why can a shipping platform be the best solution to optimise your order tracking? Well… We have a few hints for you:

  • All orders in one platform: Sendcloud integrates with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento and automatically imports orders, allowing you to manage them directly in Sendcloud.
  • Real-time tracking: Sendcloud automatically updates the tracking information for each shipment, and you can monitor the status of every order in real time.
  • Automated notifications: Send customisable notifications to your customers when their order is shipped, out for delivery, or delivered.
  • Customisable tracking page: You can provide your customers with an engaging tracking page that you can personalise with promotion, banner and your social media posts.
  • Track returns: Let your customers stay up-to-date with return tracking messages, and you’ll stay top-of-mind when it’s time for their next purchase.
  • Review analytics: Finally, Sendcloud provides analytics and reports on your shipping performance. Use these reports to analyse your shipping data and identify opportunities for improvement.

Not convinced yet?
Schedule a free demo with our team and discover what Sendcloud has to offer to your e-commerce business!