Guide to Shipping Notifications
Published on: August 28, 2023
Updated: September 27, 2023
Shipping is one of the most emotional parts of the customer journey. Yet, for many brands, there is a disconnect with customers throughout operational processes, such as dispatch, delivery, and returns. In fact, after checkout many retailers rely on third parties, such as carriers, to send shipping notifications. This leads to brands having little transparency about the quantity, quality, and accuracy of the messages being sent.
With this in mind, more brands than ever are aiming to reclaim their end-to-end customer communication. As the shift towards online shopping continues around the world, there are some key questions brands need answers for:
- What are the messages your customers want to hear from you?
- When do they want to be updated, and how?
- What is the benefit of communicating proactively with your customers from a commercial point of view?
Let’s explore the shipment notifications that will help you answer these questions and enhance your customer experience.
Key Messages That Should Appear in Every Brand’s Communication Workflow
Shipping notifications, also called shipment notifications or delivery notifications, are messages sent to a customer that provides an order update. Depending on the brand and the type of product being delivered, shipping notifications can vary. The most common examples of shipping notifications include a dispatch message, a delivery update, a failed delivery notice, and so on.
A shipping notification can be sent via a wide range of channels, including email, SMS, or via a chatbot messaging tool. Some brands opt for an omnichannel approach for shipping notifications, while others provide an order status page that automates an alert when a new update is available.
How does a delivery notification differ from a shipping notification? The two terms are often used interchangeably. But the two are often differentiated because a shipping notification is an update on any operational process between leaving the warehouse until the point of delivery.
However, after an order is delivered, any update would be referred to as a delivery notification. Many people use the terms flexibly to refer to any kind of post-purchase message, so the choice is up to you to pick the term that resonates most.
What Updates Do Your Customers Want?
Our research found that 90% of consumers want brands to engage them during delivery. Of those, 56% want immediate updates in the event of a delay. And crucially, 31% of shoppers do not want to use the carrier’s website to find order information. Of the people we asked, 26% indicated that they want brands to send how-to guides relating to their purchases.
Additionally, 20% of people want to receive information about recycling or sustainability programs. This could include information on recycling packaging or how to ethically dispose of the product once used. Furthermore, 23% want product recommendations related to their recent purchase. For example, if you recently purchased a laptop, you may value recommended products like a protective case or a compatible mouse.
But customers do not want contact to end at delivery. 87% of people said that they’d like a brand to communicate with them proactively through the returns process. Namely, 35% want notifications when the return is shipping back to the retailer and an additional 32% want regular updates on where the return is as the process progresses.
It is clear that there is a common theme emerging: people want personalized messages. They want real-time information about their order status, with tailored complementary content. While individuals will have different preferences for communication channels, people want to receive updates proactively, rather than having to rely on searching a carrier’s site for information. This gives you a great foundation for designing a communication workflow for your customers.
How Shipment Notifications Help Your Business
Brands that take back control of communication after checkout reap the rewards. The proactive messaging leads to a drop in expensive, time-consuming inbound inquiries. And, the fresh touchpoints throughout the journey keep customers engaged for longer.
As a result, sending shipping notifications can lead to a significant increase in returning traffic and repeat purchasing. Customers are more satisfied with the experience that they receive. As a result, customer lifetime value increases.
Our Post-Purchase Platform Makes it Easy
At parcelLab, we believe every step of the journey matters. That’s why we help brands stay connected to customers for longer. We partner with brands to create standout post-sales experiences tailored to their audience. Our post-purchase experience platform enables brands to deliver personalized touchpoints that grab attention and spark loyalty, from their own ecosystem.
We are partnered with hundreds of carriers worldwide, including DHL, FedEx, and DPD. This gives us access to the latest data, which we transform into personalized, branded experiences. For brands, that means more chances to create relationships that last. And for the people that buy from them, it means turning mundane operational moments into moments of joy.
Interested in seeing our platform in action? Contact us today!
Companies estimate the delivery date of packages by the order volume, the processing time of the company, the shipping time required by the carrier, and the customer’s location. To provide proper estimates, companies must be familiar with these variables along with factor in when delays may occur due to weather, high demand, road closures, holidays, etc.
Customers can be sure their package has shipped by receiving a shipping confirmation email or notification from the retailer. The notification can be sent through the customer’s preferred channel. It should be sent to the customer when their order has left the warehouse and include information such as order details and a tracking number. A retailer can personalize this notification further by adding recommended add-ons or items that may appeal to the customer, or promote current marketing campaigns that are going on.