How do traders get to grips with the track & trace problem?

How do traders get to grips with the track & trace problem?
Mon, 29/06/2020

All retailers preach that they want to offer their customers an optimal shopping experience, but suddenly stop doing so after the order has been sent. Shipping is a very emotional phase for the customer and often has an influence on whether or not the customer will order from the retailer again in the future. When it comes to shipping, there is one major problem that even the top 100 German online shops have not yet realised: Retailers leave the track & trace to the shipping service provider. They therefore have no influence on what information they pass on to their customers at what time.

Which tracking belongs to which online shop?

Many customers, especially at present and in the future, do not shop at just one online shop at the same time. This leads to them waiting not only for one parcel, but for several orders from different online shops. However, this often also means that they receive several shipping messages and tracking links from a single shipping service provider, such as DHL or Hermes, at the same time. Where does one even know which link belongs to which parcel or online retailer? It is also quite possible that one parcel is needed more urgently than the other and the customer is desperate to know when it will arrive. Now he has to click through a multitude of emails to finally find the right link to the right shop. The next time, of course, he has forgotten this again and the search game starts all over again.

However, it is not always as disastrous as described above, because often the company to which the shop belongs is mentioned in the dispatch e-mail. However, if you don't know which company which shop belongs to, unfortunately this often doesn't get you anywhere and Google has to be consulted. For this reason, integrating the logo of the respective online shop as well as information about the ordered products cannot hurt.

Shipping messages should be enriched with important information for the customer. (Source: DHL)

The customer is already annoyed, although the trader has not actually done anything wrong. However, that is not all. When one has then (possibly) found out which tracking belongs to which online shop, it is often still not clear when the package will arrive and whether there will be delivery delays. Since the trader does not decide himself what information he sends to his customers during shipping, they usually do not know what happens to their parcel, but only receive the information provided by the logistics provider.

Why do online retailers pass on this important customer contact point to the shipping service provider and what is the actual situation with the German top 100 online shops? Actually, they should have already recognised and implemented this opportunity to optimise their customer experience?

Status quo - do the top 100 retailers already communicate themselves?

Our E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020 shows: Nine of the German top 100 online shops do without a tracking link in the shipping message altogether. Although this is an improvement on the previous year (when there were 13 retailers), this should not really be the case for any of the most successful German shops. 61 per cent of the shops leave the track & trace to the shipping service provider and thus cause the problem already mentioned above - the customer is confused and possibly receives several tracking links from a shipping service provider.

Nine merchants do not integrate a tracking link into their shipping messages.

66 percent of Germany's top 100 shops leave their customers alone during shipping and either do not communicate at all or communicate exclusively via the logistics provider. A lot of potential is being wasted here. After all, 30 percent of retailers communicate with their customers themselves and thus have the opportunity to decide for themselves when and how they want to share which information with the customer.

For 66 percent of retailers, either no communication or communication through the logistics provider takes place.

Using optimisation potential in the shipping process

Those who have not yet taken their shipping communication into their own hands (and unfortunately that is many online shops) are giving away a lot of potential. Many retailers are not aware of the advantages of personalised and self-controlled shipping communication. From strengthening one's own brand to reducing customer service requests to increasing the repurchase rate - personalisation in the shipping process pays off.

Would you like a little taste?

At our customer Lidl, after implementing our solution 85 percent of customers returned to the webshop.

At Granit Parts, the parcelLab solution led to a significant reduction in customer service enquiries. Telephone enquiries have dropped by 20 per cent and email enquiries by 15 per cent.

MediaMarktSaturn was also able to achieve a open rate of 71 percent with the personalisation of their shipping messages.


If you want to avoid confusion or even annoyance among customers, you should not skimp on optimising the customer experience in the shipping process either. The highly praised shopping experience should not end after clicking the buy button. Shipping offers retailers a lot of potential to increase their sales and offer their customers an all-round positive shopping experience.

Have you already downloaded our E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020? Find out how the German top 100 online shops perform in the areas of checkout, shipping and returns.

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