Tracking Ecommerce Orders: Meeting Ever-Changing Customer Expectations

The customer experience has become a front-and-center focus for ecommerce. Though easy to overlook, a significant part of that experience comes down to reliability and predictability around order management.

Value-adds such as receiving an estimated delivery date, tracking number, and delivery notifications throughout the process all help to remove the “risk” of buying goods online and build trust with your customers.

But as retailers of all sizes compete with industry giants, customer expectations are constantly rising. A couple of the most common expectations today are to receive expedited shipping and then knowing exactly when the package will arrive.

Free 2-day shipping helps with the first, and ecommerce order tracking helps solve for the second.

What is order tracking in ecommerce?

Ecommerce order tracking allows you to monitor all of your online orders and shipments and communicate the order status to your customers at any point in time. Ecommerce order tracking includes features like shipment tracking, estimated delivery dates, and frequent updates on the order status. Together, these things play a key role in the customer experience, letting buyers know what to expect for their delivery and being notified of any delays.

3 reasons to provide order tracking

Providing ecommerce order tracking is now considered an essential service for every ecommerce company to offer. There are several benefits to direct-to-consumer brands as well as their customers.

1. Reduce costs

As you’ve probably discovered firsthand, dealing with customer complaints or inquiries is very costly in the long run. After a certain point, you will need to hire someone, outsource customer service, or use a bot to respond to each individual complaint. If you don’t, your customer reviews will suffer.

The good news is that with ecommerce order tracking, there are significantly fewer inquiries. Once implemented, all the tracking information is automatically provided to your customer. And if there are any issues, you can easily search through all of your orders to find what you need.

Order tracking automates the process without creating any extra work for you, putting less burden on your customer support team without compromising quality. By saving time and money, you have more resources to invest in other methods of improving the customer experience.

2. Meet customers expectations

97% of customers expect the ability to monitor their orders throughout every step of the shipping process.

Shoppers have obviously become accustomed to having a high level of visibility into their orders. Online shopping basically demands it with such a competitive ecommerce landscape. Having an ecommerce order tracking system in place is mandatory if your brand doesn’t want to lose business to Amazon and other major retailers.

If you can’t provide the expected level of service, shoppers will take notice, posing a risk to customer loyalty. By providing order tracking that gives the up-to-date information your customers want, their expectations are met and they are more likely to give you a good review, buy from you again, or tell their friends.

Additionally, having answers for customers is far more satisfying for them than having to hear, “I don’t know where your package is,” and continual apologies. With so much movement and transportation, it’s possible for an order to be far from its final destination. After an order leaves a warehouse or packing facility, it can go to a post office or sorting facility before it reaches the customer. Keeping customers in the loop will prevent confusion.

3. Have more control over fulfillment

Your job is not done once the box is packed and in the carriers’ hands. With order tracking, you maintain more control over the order fulfillment process and can quickly address any issues as they arise with ease. Without a system, important tracking information can get missed, resulting in a backlog of emails from unhappy customers.

Customer acquisition is great but the real money is in having repeat customers who keep purchasing more from you. The right ecommerce fulfillment strategy, which includes order tracking, can help minimize issues as well as increase the lifetime value of your customers and win more sales.

How to implement ecommerce order tracking with ShipBob

The good news is there are plenty of great services out there to help you manage fulfillment and ecommerce shipping more efficiently.

In particular, ShipBob can store your inventory in their network of fulfillment centers across the US, pack your orders, and help you seamlessly manage your shipments. With ShipBob’s technology that integrates with your ecommerce platform(s), you can:

  • Automatically send a confirmation email and share the tracking number and tracking information with each customer
  • View the order status as it moves from processing to shipping (and any step in between) in real-time
  • Filter orders by status
  • Search for specific orders
  • Edit shipping details in situations where your customer made a mistake (e.g., entered the wrong address)

ShipBob’s full stack ecommerce logistics solution ensures your customers are able to track orders and stay up-to-date without you lifting a finger. Below is a screenshot of ShipBob’s dashboard tracking an order as it progresses through each step.

shipbob order tracking shopify order shipped

This level of visibility is needed, as your customers, like most, monitor the tracking page and enable phone updates just to stay in the know. Information is powerful. Don’t leave your customers in the dark about package delivery.

Request a quote from ShipBob

Now that ecommerce order tracking has become a standard offering, your business will be harmed if you don’t provide this essential service.

Knowing where your product is from the time it is ordered until it reaches your customer is a key way to enhance the experience and impact how your customers view you. By managing this perception, you can earn greater trust with your customers, which will naturally translate into a better relationship and more sales in the long-term.

Learn more

Looking for a 3PL to handle fulfillment for you and help you meet customer expectations?

Download “ShipBob 2-Day Express Shipping: How to Drive Revenue Through Ecommerce Fulfillment” to learn how ShipBob’s fulfillment services, geographic footprint, shipping rates, and technology can help you scale your business.