Parcel tracking: Best practices for happy customers

2022-07-05

Written by Starshipit

According to a study by UPS, 96% of customers track some or all of their online purchases. Parcel tracking is non-negotiable for your ecommerce store!

From efficient order fulfilment to automated customer service, using a shipping integration that offers parcel tracking will elevate your customer experience.

In this article we’ll go through the importance of parcel tracking, challenges and how to simplify them, and some quick tips on how to improve your parcel tracking process.

Overview on parcel tracking and its importance in ecommerce

Want to be competitive in ecommerce? Parcel tracking is on longer optional.

Automatic delivery updates keep customers informed about their purchase. Don’t just take our word for it either! Ecommerce shipping stats speak for themselves:

  • 83% of online shoppers expect regular shipping notifications on their order
  • 69.7% of customers would be less likely to shop with a business that didn’t alert them to delayed shipping
  • 24% of customers will abandon their order if you don’t have an estimated delivery date

Parcel tracking enhances the online shopping delivery experience for your customers. It builds trust in your brand. It ensures people have a great experience with you and keep coming back as loyal customers.

Challenges faced with parcel tracking

Even if you have a perfect order fulfilment process for shipping, parcel tracking can still pose a lot of challenges once the product is on its way.

Customers have high expectations for shipping

eCommerce is a multi-billion dollar industry. People expect a lot when they order online!

27% of customers expect parcels to arrive before 48 hours if you promise “fast” delivery, and 40% would expect it by 48 hours. Not only this, 48% of customers are unlikely to re-purchase from companies whose packages arrive late. If you don’t have clear delivery details, more than half of online shoppers won’t even place an order with you.

This is why parcel tracking and good courier partners are so critical to eCommerce.

Not only does it provide a valuable service to customers, it allows you to analyse whether parcels are arriving on time and whether you need to change couriers for example.

Parcel tracking can take up a lot of admin time

Dealing with a lot of “where’s my parcel” inquiries? Online shoppers want to know exactly where their products are! 61% of customers will switch to competitors after just one poor customer experience.

Automatic parcel post tracking means less admin for you and more satisfaction for customers. Using a branded tracking page gives customers all the information they need without going through clunky courier websites.

Package thieves can capitalise on limited updates

Post-purchase anxiety is a real, documented phenomenon. Customers want to know their package will arrive without any worry! One of the issues is worrying about parcels being taken by opportunistic thieves. During the pandemic, 1 in 5 Americans were victims of “Porch Pirates” in the first 90 days of the pandemic.

Parcel tracking and real-time updates can help ease their anxiety after purchase.

Simplifying shipping logistics with parcel tracking software

The easiest way to simplify your shipping logistics (and completely upgrade your customer experience!) is to use shipping software.

This means that you can do everything from one dashboard and get orders out faster. Here are just a few benefits of using shipping software for parcel tracking.

Improves customer service

Using shipping software means that customers can look up their orders without calling you. It also means you can give them an estimated delivery date.

All of this adds to better customer service.

Builds customer loyalty

If you make shipping promises and then deliver on them (pun intended), then you will build trust and loyalty with your customers.

96% of customers think that customer service is crucial for brand loyalty, and loyal customers spend around 67% more than new customers.

You can’t afford to ignore anything that builds customer loyalty, and that includes using shipping software.

Suggests carrier options

You might think that a shipping aggregator (i.e. all in one) is the best way to get the cheapest rates. In actual fact, if you deal with the courier companies directly you’ll be more likely to get a better rate than the aggregators because you can negotiate directly (and the aggregator can’t add a margin on top).

Shipping software can suggest carriers for customers at the checkout based on your courier partners. This means customers get the best price and you aren’t out of pocket every time you ship an order.

For example, Starshipit automatically allocates orders to pre-specified couriers, at the rates you have negotiated, according to rules you have set. This means that you aren’t getting charged aggregated rates for couriers and you save money overall.

Increases shipment efficiency

Most importantly, shipping integrations increase delivery efficiency. For around 70% of consumers, convenience and free shipping are the biggest online shopping incentives. That means that even if your product is the best on the market, you still need to get it there faster than your competitors.

Shipping software improves your order fulfilment systems from start to finish and makes it super easy to keep customers up to date with their purchase. Order tracking is a must for ecommerce.

Best technology to use for parcel tracking

Efficient parcel tracking requires a bit of clever technology and software for a seamless experience. What you use will probably depend on your budget and how much time you want to save on order fulfilment admin.

Email updates

Email is one of the most common ways to track parcels. Often customers are required to enter an email address for purchase anyway, and it makes it easy to link updates from your courier partners.

Email parcel tracking updates give you a chance to run post-purchase marketing campaigns. 1 in 4 customers click on recommendations in tracking emails meaning you have the opportunity to upsell.

One problem with simple email updates is that you are relying on your courier’s website. Even if you link the tracking number automatically it can still be a bit difficult for customers to navigate.

However, email updates are turned on by default in most ecommerce platforms which makes it an easy place to start.

SMS texts and push notifications

SMS and push notifications take parcel tracking one step further. SMS updates customers on their order without them having to click or open anything.

75% of customers like receiving tracking updates via text so it is a customer centric approach.

However, it often costs more and there is less opportunity for post-purchase marketing.

Branded tracking pages

Branded tracking pages are a unique way to do parcel delivery tracking for your ecommerce store.

A tracking page has all the key delivery details for customers including:
Visual representation of where their order is in the process

  • Information on how to organize returns
  • Opportunities for upselling with personalised product recommendations
  • Links to reviews and social media
  • Thank you pages

Here is an example of a branded tracking page for Starshipit customer Oz Hair Care. They optimise the delivery engagement period by marketing their upcoming promotions and YouTube channel.

Tips to elevate the package tracking experience for your customers

So that you can start elevating your parcel tracking experience, we have got a few quick tips and best practices for delivery updates.

Share tracking for all orders

A recent study showed that 5-15% of all orders get lost or damaged in transit. Even if you don’t use an automated shipping update system, every order should have a unique tracking code in case something happens.

Include tracking instructions in purchase emails

You should include clear instructions on how customers can track their order in their order confirmation email. Whether this is a link to the courier website with their order number or a custom branded tracking page, instructions should be obvious.

Use a branded tracking page

To make shipping updates super simple, use a branded tracking page like with Starshipit. This automates shipping from end to end and ensures customer satisfaction.

Display delivery details

Even with a great system things can go wrong. In your confirmation emails, include the delivery address and itemised order list. That way customers can make changes and follow up if they notice any mistakes. This will also save you money if the courier has to send the package back to you because the address is wrong for example.

Automate your delivery updates

Nearly 70% of customers are less likely to shop with a brand that doesn’t alert them to delayed shipping. No matter what system you use, parcel tracking is crucial in a positive customer experience.

Your next steps for parcel tracking with Starshipit

Looking for a parcel tracking software that is made specifically for ecommerce stores like yours? Starshipit’s plug and play shipping solution integrates with your eCommerce platform, inventory management software, and over 40 different couriers.

Whether it’s order fulfilment, checkout, parcel tracking or post-purchase customer engagement, Starshipit’s feature-set automates every step of the shipping and fulfilment process.

Book a call with our Success Team to help you ship the smart way, so you can grow faster. Start your 30-day free trial (no credit card required).

Starshipit

Starshipit

Starshipit is the best practice shipping and fulfilment platform that helps retailers save time and deliver great shipping experiences.

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