It used to be that offering a great product at a reasonable price was all that was needed to build a loyal customer base in e-commerce. But in 2022, the path to success is much more complex.
With the birth of all-in-one e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Etsy, the barriers to entry have never been lower for online sellers. Being able to set up a website and get transactional within hours has created an intensely competitive e-commerce landscape that demands more than being competitive on price and product — it also requires a superior post-purchase experience.
This is where high-quality order tracking has become a vital tool to assist retailers in building a stronger relationship with their customers after they’ve passed through the checkout. How can you make delivery tracking easy and seamless? By creating an on-site tracking hub that enables customers to track their orders in one place.
Why retailers should let shoppers track all packages in one place
Let’s explore why an order tracking hub is beneficial for your business, and how you can set it up for your website.
1. Reduce customer anxiety
Delivery anxiety is widespread within the online shopping sector. The lag of several days between placing an order and receiving a package leaves ample opportunity for customers to second-guess the reliability of delivery services — and the retailer itself.
But delivery anxiety is heightened when a brand offers poor communication post-purchase. If customers don’t know when their order is supposed to arrive or whether it’s been shipped, they’re going to have doubts about your ability to fulfill your end of the bargain.
Offering real-time parcel tracking on your website is the best strategy to alleviate customer anxiety during the post-purchase experience and give them the confidence to shop with your brand again in the future.
2. Capture more web traffic
For many e-commerce brands, delivery tracking takes the form of providing a tracking number and directing customers to a tracking page on their shipping carrier’s website.
While this might be the most straightforward package tracking option, it’s a huge missed opportunity to engage with customers, particularly since most shoppers are keen to get order updates. Industry data shows that eighty-one percent of customers use an order tracking system two or more times during the fulfillment and shipping process.
By sending customers to a third-party site to obtain tracking information, you’re also directing them away from engaging further with your website. This means that it’s couriers such as DHL or FedEx who get to define the post-purchase experience — not your brand.
Instead, offer an on-site package tracker and leverage extra site visits to increase engagement and boost trust in your brand.
3. Reduce customer support tickets
Another disadvantage of using an external package tracking platform is that your brand has no control over the tracking information being provided. Updates may be limited or not provided in real-time, meaning your customers are left in the dark as to the whereabouts of their orders.
Moreover, shipping services have little incentive to be transparent about delivery delays or errors, as this could damage their reputation. The result is that retailers often take the blame for problems caused by carriers. It’s common to field endless requests from customers about their order status, which can limit the bandwidth of your customer care team to handle other issues.
Become the provider of delivery tracking information to ensure that customers have all the details they need. In doing so, you reduce “Where is my order?” questions that usually fill up your inbox, DMs, and phone lines.
4. Drive additional purchases for customers
A branded order tracking hub isn’t just a place for customers to track deliveries; it also offers a range of retargeting and marketing opportunities to kickstart a fresh shopping journey — if brands know how to do it right.
As we mentioned above, customers are guaranteed to access your order tracking tool at least a couple of times during the post-purchase phase. You can capitalize on this engagement by presenting them with enticing content within the tracking portal itself.
Consider how you could present customers with product reviews, dynamic content like videos and blog posts, or product recommendations that capture their attention and provide further conversion opportunities.
5. Improve your customer experience
Directing customers away from your e-commerce platform is a big disruption to the customer experience. Having grown accustomed to your brand identity and voice, it’s quite jarring for customers to be taken off-site to a postal service or third party tracking app.
Keep customers within your branded properties for package tracking to ensure a seamless, continuous user experience. The increased convenience will bolster confidence in your brand.
6. Building brand loyalty
This one is pretty straightforward. The easier and more seamless an order tracking experience is, the more likely customers are to think positively of your brand and the overall shopping journey. When customers feel happy and satisfied by the end-to-end experience, they’re much more likely to shop with you again. According to Hubspot, 93% of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service.
And the reverse is also true; if customers struggle with delivery tracking and finding the information they need, this will reflect poorly on your brand.
How to enable all-in-one order tracking
Now that we’ve shed light on the benefits of letting shoppers track all packages in one place, let’s go over the steps you should take to make it happen in your business.
Build a branded tracking experience
Your order tracking hub presents a fantastic opportunity to continue telling your brand’s story. This is because the post-purchase experience is exactly when you should be working to prime your customer for their next purchase, rather than waiting until they receive their order and leave the sales funnel.
When your customer is eagerly anticipating their order arriving, they’re likely to be much more responsive to parallel marketing efforts such as order and shipping confirmation emails, and of course, the order tracking hub itself.
parcelLab created a bespoke order tracking hub for Bose which embedded the brand’s color palette and content directly into the page to create a cohesive experience. Bose is also utilizing customer data such as search history and order details to create dynamic product recommendations that encourage future purchases.
Embed an order tracking CTA within delivery notifications
Brands can take advantage of this high level of engagement by using confirmation emails and SMS as a way to direct customers to their order tracking hub.
Even when a branded tracking platform is available through your website, it’s important that customers know how to reach it when they receive the first notification that their order is on its way.
Embedding a clickable CTA within the email makes the order tracking process even more seamless and convenient for customers. Peter Hahn has built a branded email flow that provides customers with an order tracking CTA within the initial confirmation email, helping to keep customers engaged with their brand for longer:
Integration with parcel carriers and order management systems
All major parcel carriers from Royal Mail to USPS use open APIs that allow order tracking software to integrate directly with carrier platforms to retrieve up-to-the-minute updates.
parcelLab integrates with 150+ delivery services nationwide to cater to customers in every region. We also integrate directly with order management systems so that customers can also receive details about order processing and preparation in real-time.
11teamsports has used these integrations to turn their order tracking hub into an all-in-one destination that limits the need for customers reach out to their service team directly. Customers can watch the order preparation and shipping process step-by-step, driving them back to the portal for multiple visits.
Using data to personalize notifications
It’s important to remember that every customer order is unique. There are all kinds of mitigating factors that can affect the quality of the pick-up or delivery experience. If customers don’t receive all of the information they need to have a seamless experience, this could affect their relationship with your brand.
By using advanced data personalization that pulls information from external sources and takes into account the unique details of every order, you can maximize every touchpoint with your customer and provide a value-added experience.
parcelLab customer Berlin Brands Group has created an informative tracking experience by providing customers with additional details such as the weight of the package and even the weather forecast to ensure they’re prepared for pickup:
Use an Operations Experience Management tool like parcelLab
Great order tracking is a multi-faceted strategy that requires best-in-class operational support. Businesses need to provide a seamless experience that extends beyond the checkout to build brand trust and instill repeating purchasing behavior in customers.
Being able to provide a cohesive set of branded, interactive touchpoints during the post-purchase experience is the pathway to achieving stronger brand growth and better engagement. That’s why partnering with an Operations Experience Management platform like parcelLab holds the key to delighting every customer. From proactive communications to embedded content, parcelLab enables your brand to maintain a granular level of control over every touchpoint once they complete the checkout.
Managing an order tracking portal can feel like a full-time job for e-commerce brands, but it’s a crucial ingredient to providing customers with a supportive post-purchase experience. When customers are provided with a real-time flow of information about their order, this fosters higher levels of brand loyalty and repeat purchasing intent.
parcelLab is your business’s ideal partner to create your very own order tracking hub right on your website. From advanced data analytics to proactive communications with customers across channels, parcelLab streamlines operational management so you can focus on generating sales and building your brand.