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What is Logistics Tracking and How Do You Implement It?


Published on: Aug 4, 2022

woman viewing laptop tracking her post-purchase shipment

We’ve all experienced the feeling of making a purchase online and then eagerly awaiting the arrival of our package. And, who hasn’t received a shipping notification and then immediately checked the tracking number for updates – even though the wasn’t isn’t even with the carrier at that point?

The post-purchase customer journey is an important one for retailers to understand. Once the “complete your purchase” button is pressed, the interaction is far from over. Retailers today have many options when choosing a delivery service for their e-commerce transactions. Many customers closely watch the tracking status and enable notifications while their package is in transit – regardless of whether it is just a household basic or an exciting purchase. This part of the shopping journey creates an opportunity for retailers to deepen engagement with their customers.

E-commerce order fulfillment can be a complex process, involving multiple parties in the supply chain. Once an order is received, the fulfillment and shipping process needs to be streamlined and the tracking information must be communicated with the customer.

Enter logistics delivery tracking, the connector between order placement and delivery. Here, we’ll dive into the basics of retail logistics tracking and how to implement it as a way to grow your business and enhance your customer’s experience.

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What is a logistics tracking system?

Logistics tracking system refers to a software that retailers use to monitor the progress of products as they are fulfilled, packaged and shipped. It collects data from the various commercial shipping carriers, third-party logistics providers and/or contractors used for final mile delivery so that companies can perform core business tracking and their customers can track and trace where a package is in its journey.

Logistics status tracking is more than just handing over a tracking number

Providing your customers with package tracking information and updates is another opportunity to engage with them and ensure satisfaction. There are multiple logistics solutions decisions to make – such as the choice of delivery service (like FedEx, UPS, USPS, or DHL), or the use of a custom tracking app.

The shipping processes also vary depending on the complexity of the supply chain, if there are global shipping needs, if BOPIS (buy online pick up in-store) is in play, or if e-commerce is the sole method of fulfillment.

In today’s world, customers expect (and deserve!) proactive shipment tracking and post-sale communication. Below are a few key reasons why implementing tracking in logistics is a worthwhile investment.

Why is proactively sharing shipment tracking information important?

There are a few core reasons businesses of all sizes should consider upgrading their logistics tracking experience.

Easy package tracking reduces WISMO (where is my order?) inquiries

A highly anticipated or time-sensitive package can result in the customer repeatedly refreshing tracking information or contacting the shipper for updates. Though your team is surely happy to assist in these inquiries, they do require time and resources. With frequent or near real-time status updates available, you can put your customer’s mind at ease and decrease the amount of outreach to your customer service teams – saving time for the customer and resources for your company.

And our customers see great success in the reduction of WISMO inquiries; Berlin Brands Group reports 24% fewer customer inquiries and an 88% open email rate for shipping notifications.

Customize post-sale communications to enhance customer experience

The ability to tailor communications post-sale accomplishes several goals, including sharing important track and trace information and customizing the post-sale experience.

One successful example of this is with Bose, which not only conducts A/B testing in post-sale communications to see what resonates most, but also tailors the experience and directs them back to the website to view compatible or related items. Bose reports a reduction in WISMO inquiries and an impressive 78.5% open email rate. On top of that, hosting the track and trace page in their own environment has a significantly positive impact on SEO and has triggered repeat sales.

Engage with customers through last-mile tracking

Last-mile tracking is “the final stage of the supply chain, where goods move from a distribution center to their final destination. The last mile represents a time of huge pressure for brands and carriers alike.”

This stage in delivery is when your customers are imminently expecting the arrival of their package. Maybe they’ve made time-sensitive plans for their purchase or they’re just excited to receive their new items – either way, the last mile is an important one.

Logistics tracking sends emails and text messages in real-time through the use of integrations with scans from the shipping providers. Engaging with your customers during the last mile of delivery builds excitement for the purchase while also delivering important information. Additionally, in the case of missed delivery or last-minute delays, your customers are kept in the loop with proactive communication about the status.

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Simplify the sharing of (multiple) logistic tracking numbers

For some orders, there may be multiple packages and shipping locations which complicate the tracking process. Multiple orders mean multiple tracking numbers and emails to your customer. By streamlining through one integrated platform, tracking information can be shared on an easy-to-use landing page on your website. Not only does this increase traffic to your website, but it also consolidates the needed information for your customers.

This is a huge benefit for several of our customers, one of which is a global shipper with orders that frequently require multiple shipments and partner with DHL, Express, FedEx, and UPS.

What steps are involved in retail logistics tracking?

All retailers have a preferred shipping partner (or partners), and once the order is placed and the shipping provider is selected, the shipment label is created. This process is going to look different for customers depending on if the order is shipped from a warehouse (or multiple warehouses), a brick-and-mortar store, or a combination of the two.

Your customers should receive updates throughout the purchasing process, including order confirmation, order fulfillment, order shipped, and shipment status updates.

That is where tracking in logistics comes into play and links the logistics of shipping with the customer service of ongoing communication.

Why logistics monitoring is important

When retailers can monitor logistics, they can detect when something is wrong with a delivery. There are many cases that could indicate a delivery date promise might be at risk like: a shipment isn’t dispatched on time, or an order shows as packed but hasn’t been scanned by the carrier, or the delivery hasn’t arrived to its next destination in the time expected. Getting alerts for all these journey steps can help retailers trigger customer service follow-up or special communications to keep customers informed and improve the experience.

The benefits of using a Post Purchase Experience platform

Once the basics and initial goals are accomplished, it’s important to continue to refine and innovate. A pleasant user experience is becoming just as important as the speed of delivery and quality of the product. Using a Post Purchase Experience Management platform like parcelLab helps to provide order fulfillment and shipping integrations that make your job as a retailer and shipper easier, and the customer experience seamless.

We also know that businesses will continue to grow and evolve over time, so it’s important to find a logistics partner that is flexible and adaptable to your needs. Not only does it save time and resources, but it can also be instrumental in the sustainable growth of your company.

You may also be interested in What is Last Mile Carrier Tracking and How Does It Work?

Frequently Asked Questions

How can small businesses with limited resources effectively implement logistics tracking?

Small businesses can implement logistics tracking by using affordable or free tracking software solutions that offer basic features needed for tracking shipments and communicating with customers.

What are the challenges of integrating logistics tracking systems with existing e-commerce platforms?

Integrating logistics tracking systems can present challenges like compatibility with existing software, the complexity of setup, and ensuring real-time data accuracy across platforms.

How do different shipping carriers' tracking capabilities impact the choice of logistics tracking solutions?

The varying tracking capabilities of shipping carriers can influence the logistics tracking solution a business chooses, as it needs to be compatible with the carriers used and capable of consolidating tracking information from multiple sources.

Can logistics tracking data be used to analyze and improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain?

Yes, logistics tracking data can be analyzed to identify bottlenecks, improve shipping times, and optimize the supply chain for better efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

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