Finding the Best Shipment Tracking Software
A Guide to Compare Features and Solutions
Despite the well-known costs of poor delivery, most retailers still fail to impress when it comes down to the final mile of the shipping process. In fact, data shows that 58.6% of shoppers say retailers are mediocre at best when it comes to meeting delivery expectations in the final mile. And thanks to the Amazon Effect, standard benchmarks for those expectations are only getting higher and higher.
A lackluster customer experience when it comes to the last mile won’t just lead to lower customer satisfaction. Bad package-tracking experiences can also generate additional costs, including those associated with delays in the supply chain, obstructed workflow, customer service expenses, and, worst of all, losing customers — both existing and potential.
So what can your brand do to improve package tracking experiences, retain more customers, and optimize the post-purchase experience?
Why package tracking matters
In today’s e-commerce environment, strong logistics management and package tracking are essential for businesses looking to get an edge on the competition and streamline the shipping process. Here are the three main reasons packing tracking matters:
1. Customer loyalty
In an era when every retailer and e-commerce site is expected to offer order tracking, it’s critical to meet customer expectations and streamline the delivery experience. Taking this step is a surefire way to boost customer loyalty.
Today, shoppers are asking for more control of their delivery experiences: 52% of power shoppers say delivery efficiency and ease of service are the defining factors when it comes to brand loyalty. A branded tracking page is the first step in building customer trust and keeping your shoppers informed.
2. Delivery costs
Delivery mistakes are expensive. From higher shipping pricing associated with returned orders and other supply chain disruptions to the costs of restocking, delivery problems can make a serious dent in your bottom line. But delivery costs are more than just technical — a failed delivery can mean losing a customer. Research shows that poor last mile delivery experiences are a major source of customer churn and that 83% of shoppers won’t return after a poor delivery experience.
3. Customer communication
Simply put, today’s shoppers demand order visibility and clear communication when it comes to package-tracking information. In fact, 47% of customers will avoid ordering from a retailer altogether if they sense a lack of visibility during the shipping process. Keeping customers informed about where their package is with an omnichannel approach (including SMS and email or through a mobile app) that offers all-in-one package tracking can prevent customers from asking, “Where Is My Order?”
Learn more about how teams are affected by WISMO calls here.
What to look for in your shipment tracking system
Visibility is essential when it comes to package tracking. Presenting customers with a tracking page that’s simple, clear, and user-friendly — and that contains all of the tracking information they’re looking for, including their tracking number — is critical. In other words, it’s not enough to provide the tracking information the customer wants. They also need to find it without too much effort, which is part of the reason good visual design can be so important.
2. Accurate tracking updates
Most customers are willing to be patient as long as they perceive that the shipping process isn’t out of their (or your) control. Providing accurate updates is the key to this perception: 93% of surveyed customers want to be informed and receive updates about their shipments.
Still, your package tracking updates have to meet customers where they are and via their preferred medium. Do they want text updates? Email notifications? What’s most convenient for them? Increasing automation and choosing the right shipping software and management system can ensure you’re able to reach customers exactly where they are.
3. Self-service features
User-friendly self-service features give customers a feeling of control and interaction with a company that inspires long-term brand loyalty — nearly 50% of customers think it’s important to be able to solve issues themselves.
Self-service features also provide a way for customers to troubleshoot and to get more flexibility around their order delivery. Research shows shoppers aged 18 to 34 are 35% more likely to prefer self-service options such as pick-up lockers, printing shipping labels, and holding a shipment at a terminal.
4. Substance and delivery communication
Customers have questions. No matter how pretty your tracking page looks, all a customer ultimately wants to know is: “Where is my order?” If a package tracking site doesn’t offer the control and information that a customer needs, it affects your relationship with your customer.
But you shouldn’t stop there. What about additional features? Does a tracking page show a history of interactions with the package? Does it allow customers to sign up for SMS updates? Proof of delivery images? Actionable prompts when there’s an incorrect address?
In terms of strategies to improve the post-purchase experience, communicating upfront helps reduce long-term costs, cuts down on customer service queries, and makes for happier customers.
5. The ability to take action when delivery exceptions arise
When a customer is clicking on a tracking page repeatedly, they don’t necessarily want updates. What they want is to feel in on the experience and sense that the delivery is tailored to their needs. According to Convey data, customers will check their tracking pages seven times on average.
Delivery exceptions impact 11% of shipments, according to Convey data. When a delivery exception comes up, customers don’t just want to know about it. They want to know that their brands have already caught the issue and have developed a plan to resolve the issue. That means if you can automate the shipping process and your response to delivery exceptions, all the better.
Delivery Experience Management provides the ability to proactively respond to issues instead of reactively. With the power to see, analyze, and act on delivery issues, both customer service and retail operations teams can create custom views around exceptions, they can contact the carrier — whether it’s DHL, USPS, or FedEx — within seconds to resolve the issue and inform the customer of the changes.
The best package tracking solutions with real-time Delivery Experience Management
As we’ve just seen, the best package tracking solutions come down to several factors, including communication, visibility, accuracy, and actionability. Ultimately, your decision should come down to finding a package tracking solution that offers the right tools to address those needs.
Among a host of valuable functionalities, Convey’s platform offers:
- Branded, timely, and — most importantly — proactive shipping messages when a delivery exception occurs through Convey Engage.
- Machine learning technology through Convey Recover that enables businesses to collaborate with internal and external teams to dramatically reduce costs associated with resolving delivery issues.
- The ability, using Convey Convert, to generate intelligent estimated delivery dates (EDDs) early in the buyer journey to help companies compete with giants like Amazon.
- Optimization of last mile performance through Convey Discover and unique prescriptive analytics.
Compared to other services like AfterShip, Convey offers higher levels of integration and specialization across the board, going beyond simple shipment tracking to predict prices and delivery dates for retailers both large and small.
With Delivery Experience Management, Convey allows shippers to identify delivery exceptions early on and closely collaborate with carriers to resolve issues before the customer is even aware of them. In today’s crowded marketplace, winning with reliability is your best option.
How to incorporate your order tracking solution into your e-commerce strategy
A better shipment tracking experience doesn’t have to break your budget. There are several scalable solutions to fit different brands and different objectives.
- Crawl. Companies concerned about large investments would do well to start out with branded tracking pages and alerts (the most common forms are email and SMS).
- Walk. For better results, leveraging CX technology like Convey to power your alerts and create more robust tracking experiences that consumers demand.
- Run. A full investment will take advantage of strong third-party data — often via unified API, as offered by Convey Extend — to fully optimize delivery communication and engagement, providing real-time reactions.
Shipment tracking software clearly has a lot to offer, but finding how it matches up with your business goals is still important. To boost shopping cart conversion rates, which is a key goal for many businesses, shipment tracking software can cut down on the sticker shock of slow estimated delivery dates by providing optimized shipping speeds.
Providing visibility and communicating during delivery is important in increasing customer trust and UncommonGoods does this well. When it ships an order, the customer receives an email with a tracking link, which takes them to a custom landing page. From there, the delivery data from the retailer and carrier is presented together, and the customer can even sign up for text alerts and emails to stay up-to-the-minute on their order’s delivery.
Beyond package tracking: creating lifetime value for customers
For retailers who invest time and money into competing with Amazon and major retailers for shoppers’ dollars, all it takes is one bad delivery experience to undo all of that hard work. It also hurts your CAC and LTV while driving up churn.
If 52% of shoppers say that delivery efficiency and ease of service are the defining factors of brand loyalty, that’s a majority. Package tracking is about more than giving a customer updates; it’s central to the online shopping experience and will help shape the customer’s perception of your value to them.
Want to know what package tracking and delivery experience management have to do with LTV? Continue reading here to understand how you can host your own tracking pages with Convey’s shipping APIs or to learn more about Convey’s branded tracking solution.