How do you define your brand’s end-to-end customer experience? Does it cease after the purchase transaction goes through? Consider your own eCommerce shopping experiences – you’re really not done “shopping” until that package arrives at your doorstep. In fact, for leading DTC brands, the customer experience (CX) never stops. These brands strategically leverage ongoing opportunities for post-purchase customer engagement with their brands via lifestyle content, personalized recommendations, and more.
Order tracking – although it’s often farmed out to a third party like UPS or FedEx – is actually an integral part of a customer’s experience with your brand. Think about it: the majority of your customers probably check on their order status. When you leave order tracking to the shipping company, you’re giving up an opportunity to control that post-purchase engagement with the customer. You also may be negatively impacting the customer experience if that experience with the third-party tracking website is poor.
56% of eCommerce sites don’t integrate tracking functionality into their sites
eCommerce UX researcher Baymard Institute found that 56% of eCommerce sites don’t integrate tracking functionality into their sites and instead rely partially or fully on third-party order tracking sites like UPS or FedEx. Reasons why include cost and integration challenges – but there are tools available today that make it pretty seamless and cost-effective to do things like email order status notifications to customers or create branded tracking pages on your site.
Why are you leaving the top customer self-service “ask” to UPS?
Baymard research shows that the number one self-service activity customers want is to look up the order status and arrival date of their package -- and they do it several times while waiting for it to arrive.
The unfortunate reality is that checking on order status with the shipping company is usually a less than optimal experience. As you can see in the example below, the way shipping information is presented by third-party shippers is not always clear – these companies use shipping industry terminology, which is not customer-centric and can be confusing. Also, typically there’s no tracking information available until the package reaches the shipping facility, leaving the customer wondering how long it will take for the order to be processed and readied for shipping.
Best practice #1: Drive customers to a branded tracking web page
Anticipation makes the heart grow fonder. Once they order, customers are looking forward to receiving their delivery. Engage them while they’re paying attention! Post-purchase customers are primed to continue interacting with your brand. Driving customers who want to check order status to a branded tracking web page versus a third-party tracking site enables a world of customer engagement opportunities. And more shopping is just a click away! You can feature new products, your social media feed, videos, customer reviews, blog posts, and more. All of this content (plus tracking information they feel confident about) can serve to enhance the customer experience, encourage them to revisit your site, and help increase loyalty.
Best practice #2: Engage customers with personalized order tracking
What’s one email you know most of your customers will open? The order tracking email. Research shows that transactional emails like order confirmation, tracking and shipping notification emails have some of the highest open and engagement rates out there. In addition to email, SMS/text messaging for customer shipping/tracking updates are becoming more common.
By leaving order tracking to the shipping company, you’re missing a golden opportunity to leverage another touchpoint that can enhance the customer experience with your brand. Integrating order tracking into your eCommerce experience also gives you more control over mitigating potential customer dissatisfaction. For example, what’s a better experience? Receiving an email that proactively updates you days in advance that there’s a delay with your shipment? Or finding out your order is late on the day it’s due to arrive?
Branded tracking emails also can be opportunities to increase revenue. Personalized tracking emails with recommendations for related products or a link to a blog post that provides tips on how to use what they ordered can prompt additional purchases and also increase customer lifetime value (CLTV).
Don’t wait to integrate
As the eCommerce playing field becomes more crowded and customer acquisition costs increase, brands need every edge they can get. Don’t leave your customers in a black hole of not knowing where their order is and when it’s due to arrive. Beyond providing your customers with clear order tracking information that they can easily understand, branded order tracking communications can be a key touchpoint to enhance the overall customer experience and grow your competitive advantage.
Looking to set up a branded landing page experience? Checkout Malomo which integrates with Shopify Plus to build branded tracking pages. You can also integrate with Klaviyo as well to send personalized shipping update emails as well.