eCommerce

Package tracking in eCommerce: pros, tips and tools

Mariluz Sampalo

Mariluz Sampalo

Apr 24, 2022

Package tracking is one of the most important post-sales tasks in eCommerce

Inside this article

  • iconWhat is package tracking in eCommerce?
  • iconAdvantages of package tracking in eCommerce
  • iconThe crucial moment: the last mile
  • iconMaximizing the value of the customer through the post-sales service
  • Added value has become a priority in the eCommerce industry. The impact of this is that companies compete to see which can offer more and better functionalities. In the heat of the moment, many seem to have forgotten about one of the services that customers value the most: a package tracking system for shipments and returns.

    As you can see in Statista’s study on the most popular shipping options among many consumers, an optimized package tracking system is becoming one of the main reasons why customers make a purchase in the first place. Not offering this service to your customers can be detrimental to your conversion rate and business overall.

    Graph on the importance on package tracking for customers

    Source: Statista

    In this article, we will discuss all the important matters on package tracking in eCommerce: how it works, what its advantages are, and how you can optimize your package tracking system.

    What is package tracking in eCommerce?

    The tracking code is a set of numbers or numbers and letters whose purpose is to track or monitor shipments. This tracking code is provided by couriers to eCommerce businesses and their customers to let them know the status and location of their shipments. This creates a feeling of transparency and security for both parties.

    This tracking system is normally available through the online portal of the courier, although, as we will see later on, there are other possibilities that bring more benefits for eCommerce stores.

    It is worth mentioning that the portal is not the only channel to offer information on the shipments. For example, you can send emails notifying a change in status or location. Marketing wise, these emails can be targeted to promote cross sales with related products or a discount code.

    The challenge behind a complex transportation network

    One of the challenges that come with the optimization of package tracking is the resources you need to monitor all shipments and returns, especially if you work with several couriers. If this is the case, the only way to keep track of them is to implement a package tracking system that unifies all this information under one interface.

    Advantages of package tracking in eCommerce

    Being deprived of an optimized package tracking system will not only leave you at a disadvantage in comparison to your competitors, but will also reduce the efficiency of your logistic system and service as a whole. Monitoring your shipments is beneficial for a number of reasons:

    1. Optimizes costs in eCommerce logistics

    Keeping track of parcels is a fundamental activity when it comes to analyzing metrics and costs related to eCommerce logistics. This will allow you to find weak points in your business, optimize routes, and audit the infrastructure.

    Moreover, package tracking can help organizations to synchronize and connect internal processes, such as the reception of products or restocking. Later on, this will ease and speed up the picking and packing processes, allowing for a faster order processing and more efficient eCommerce logistics.

    2. Prevents shipping issues

    In addition to the costs and resources needed to solve shipping issues, dealing with claims and questions can also raise costs and workloads in the customer department. Package tracking has a real impact in this regard, since, if the system is advanced enough, it will offer updated and verified information about the route and location of the parcel. If any parcel suffers a setback, you will be able to react in time. In order to prevent shipping issues, the package tracking system needs a smart alert system. Otherwise, it would never be able to notify anomalies in advance. In this sense, the tracking portal provided by Outvio is one of the best and cutting-edge portals in the market. Thanks to its AI system, Outvio can detect shipping issues in an autonomous manner.

    3. Guarantees returns

    Shipments sent back to its origin point can also suffer incidents or deviations from the expected route. Many of these can occur because of the way the return labels are created —or, more precisely, who creates them.

    If you make the buyer responsible for this process, the chances of something going wrong skyrocket. Having a package tracking system for reverse shipments and returns decreases the number of incidents and enables the coordination of returns with the quality department that evaluates the products.

    4. Allows international tracking

    eCommerce businesses with a market in foreign countries will surely have noticed the sensitivity of the transportation of these parcels. The risks begin with the outsourcing of the service in order to offer international shipping.

    This situation tends to cause lost parcels that cannot be traced if a package tracking system has not been implemented throughout the whole journey of the shipment.

    The crucial moment: the last mile

    ‘The last mile’ is a term that affects everything related to the delivery of the package, since it is handed to the courier until the package has been delivered to the buyer. It is a fundamental process when it comes to offering the perfect user experience.

    Even though there are endless tools to manage the deliveries to customers, the last stage of the supply chain —called the last mile— is when most shipping issues occur. This has detrimental effects on your eCommerce reputation and customers’ satisfaction.

    Generally speaking, users tend to be more worried once they make the purchase. Waiting for a parcel to be delivered is not a fun activity and it can affect daily life. If an eCommerce shop works B2B, the last mile becomes even more important since the supply chain of the other company heavily depends on the shipments the eCommerce business makes.

    Package tracking is an essential element to guarantee the lack of shipping issues in this phase. Firstly, the most common problem is the absence of the buyer in the delivery location. A package tracking system will help avoid these situations. Secondly, many couriers rely on local operators to make the delivery, which creates the need for a system that connects several couriers with the eCommerce platform.

    Maximizing the value of the customer through the post-sales service

    When a business offers its customers high-quality service, it is showing attention, care, and interest in having a long-lasting relationship. This affects a company’s reputation and ROI: a loyal customer can be more beneficial than attracting new users.

    This is why so many businesses are reallocating resources with the intention of prolonging the customer lifetime value. They know how important customer retention is compared to customer acquisition.

    Graph on building customer loyalty

    Source: SuperOffice

    Closely related to this is package tracking. At the end of the day, the person with the highest interest in knowing where the parcel is tends to be the customer. For any eCommerce store, this is useful information to improve their logistics, of course, but profits can be really seen when the tracking system has been designed with the buyer in mind.

    Namely, a basic tracking portal should be avoided at all costs since its functionalities are too limited and transmit an image of laziness. New technologies give us the opportunity to design original solutions for the buyers with additional functionalities from communication to tracking or marketing. 

    By implementing more complex and thought-through solutions, any eCommerce business can elevate the satisfaction of their customers throughout the purchasing experience, increasing their brand loyalty and maximizing profits.

    Tracking portal

    Outvio is well aware of the importance of the customer lifetime value. The tracking portal plays a huge role in it, especially if it includes national and international orders.

    Customizable portals are, for this reason, very beneficial for marketing purposes since you can use them for upselling and cross-selling, and brand all post-sale processes.

    The sum of all these factors has a positive impact on customer satisfaction in relation to the post-sales service, creating a valuable link between an eCommerce business and its customers.

    Optimize your package tracking system now and provide a better package tracking in eCommerce to cause a positive feeling in your customers.