Shipping notifications are crucial in the delivery process. With 37% of brands increasing their email marketing budget, it’s clear that creating an effective shipping notification flow that makes sense for your brand and customers is simply fundamental to the success of your online store.
Let’s take a look at the possible ways of informing your customers about the delivery process, the types of shipping notifications at your disposal and how to master them so that you can boost customer loyalty and retention — and have a higher repurchase rate.
What are tracking notifications?
Tracking notifications, also called shipping notifications or delivery notifications, are messages that retailers need to send to their customers in order to inform them about the status or location of their order.
Delivery notifications vary depending on the style of the brand, its audience and the channel used for the communication.
Shipping notifications are typically sent via email, SMS or chatbot. With the rise of omnichannel eCommerce, brands are increasingly choosing to adapt the message and channel to each type of customer, developing complex shipping notification strategies that consist of email-only notifications, email-and-SMS notifications or SMS-only messaging.
In this way, regardless of the profile of the customer, companies can make sure that customer support queries related to order status are kept to a minimum, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and efficiency.
How to inform customers about a delivery
Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of tracking notifications, you may be asking yourself how to inform customers the right way.
Since we’re talking about online stores, shipping notification emails are among the most popular communication systems used to inform online customers.
Customers demand and appreciate personalized messages. They primarily want updated information on the status and location of their order, but other interesting facts are also welcomed, such as new collections and product launches, special discounts, and recommended products.
Use shipping notifications as an opportunity to engage and increase your sales numbers by proactively reaching your customers, instead of relying on them to contact you for information about their orders.
Types of order notifications
Order notifications include all messages related to the delivery of a parcel, from the fulfilment process to the delivery itself, or even to the return, if one is necessary.
In this sense, there are 15 fundamental touchpoints that can occur during the delivery process:
- Order received
- Order being prepared
- Shipping label printed
- The parcel was picked up
- The parcel is out for delivery
- The delivery is delayed
- The parcel is available at the store
- The parcel is available at the pickup location
- The parcel was successfully delivered
- There’s an issue with the order
- The recipient wasn’t available at the delivery moment
- Return/exchange request received
- Return/exchange request accepted
- Returned/exchanged goods received
- Your reimbursement is coming
All of these pre-configured touchpoints can be customized according to your branding, customer profile, channel and operations when you use Outvio. Thanks to its drag-and-drop editor, changing the layout of the email, personalising the message, for each channel and notification, translating it to 30+ languages and adding cross-selling campaigns and promotional banners is not only possible but also fast and easy.
Outvio makes it easy to approach your customers in every possible way. See how.
How can you approach your customers?
The answer to this question is, in reality, quite simple. You should approach your customers through the channel that they use the most, whether it’s email, SMS, chatbots on your website or social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook and so on.
Using email to inform customers about the status of their order seems to be one of the most popular ways. Data collected by Outvio shows that order notification emails can reach an astonishing open rate of 91.4%.
The reasons are simple: The cost is low, the open rate is high and the possibilities that come with email notifications aren’t available through other mediums. You can include promotional banners, recommend products, give discounts and engage with customers to increase the repurchase rate as well as customer loyalty and retention.
With Outvio you can automatically inform your customers of the status of their order with branded notifications that strengthen customer relationships while improving business performance
SMS messages are not a particularly common form of communication these days, being mostly used in B2C situations. Approaching your customers directly on the phone is a fast and effective way of letting them know about urgent matters like shipping issues, delays, or delivery times.
If email open rates are high, SMS rates are even higher: 97% of SMS messages are opened. This reflects the reality that customers might not see an email notification for various reasons, such as because their inbox is overloaded, they used a fake account or email address to sign up, or they prefer other modes of communication.
Automatically notifying domestic and international buyers via SMS is a personalized delivery experience that minimizes customer support queries by keeping buyers well informed.
Send SMS shipping notifications to your customers automatically with Outvio. Personalize the message and localize the experience in 30+ languages in less than 8 min
WhatsApp is one of the most widely used communication channels in the world these days. In some countries and age groups, the application is even more popular than Facebook or Instagram.
In order to take advantage of its widespread use, WhatsApp has implemented a series of developments that also enable businesses to use the platform to communicate with their clients (WhatsApp Business). And because WhatsApp is primarily used in its mobile version, businesses can provide customers with quick access to their order status, and, thanks to push notifications, they’ll immediately receive an alert each time they’re contacted. These features make it possible to solve shipping issues very quickly.
Facebook Messenger & Instagram
Even though WhatsApp is gaining popularity in some markets and is already the go-to app in some others, Facebook is still the most used online social network worldwide. According to Statista, as of October 2022, the number of Facebook active users is around 2.96 billion.
Instagram’s number of users is less than half of Facebook’s, but it still makes up over 28% of the world's internet users, according to Statista. As a consequence, it seems only logical to use these channels as a way to keep your customers informed about your store, products and, of course, about their orders.
Reaching out to your customers on channels where they spend most of their time, like Facebook and Instagram, doesn’t only guarantee you faster communication, but it also helps you increase brand awareness and engage better with your customers.
If they see that your brand is on the same platforms they use, they’ll inevitably connect with you and see you as part of their network, instead of just as someone trying to sell something.
Nonetheless, the way you talk to customers and market your brand on these platforms depends on numerous factors such as your own branding, the type of customer you sell to, the market and even the fact that they use one or both of the platforms.
This option may not be appropriate for every type of business. Some online stores have complex operations that limit the possibility of implementing effective automatic responses, and other companies may simply be more interested in offering a high-end purchasing experience that doesn’t involve automated feedback. If this is your case, staying away from chatbots and creating personalized messages that adapt to your customer and products is the way to go.
Chatbots gained popularity because they can reduce costs for companies and increase the speed by which they can respond to customer queries. However, thanks to the development of new technologies, there are now more automation solutions that lower operating costs while also improving the customer experience.
Automatically inform your customers of the status of their order and allow them to solve shipping issues and edit delivery information in just a couple of clicks. It’s only possible when you choose Outvio
How do shipping notifications help your business?
With the boom of online shopping in recent years, just being online isn’t enough for a business anymore. It’s compulsory — and even assumed — that, as a retailer, you need to sell online. Because of this, customers’ demands are getting tougher and tougher to meet, and the customer experience is gaining more importance when it comes to purchasing online.
In this sense, there’s no question about the necessity of investing in the customer experience. But how exactly do you improve it?
Well, the first measure we recommend implementing if you haven’t already guessed, is shipping notifications. They provide benefits for both parties: The online store reduces the number of customer support queries and increases customer satisfaction, thereby promoting new sales, and the customer gets increased peace of mind by knowing the status and location of their order. With so many online purchasing options at their disposal, buyers greatly value the information and attention their orders get — so much so that they decide to order more.
32% of customers “break up” with their favorite brand after just one poor customer experience. Retailers know this, and in 2022, it’s estimated that they spend around $640 billion on CX, according to Review24.
Moreover, delivery notifications help reduce WISMO and provide full visibility from the time the order is placed until its delivery.
Shipping notifications can also be used to increase brand awareness by creating an omnichannel strategy for communication throughout the delivery process, nurturing customers even after the purchase. They’ll engage more with your eCommerce business, and it’s more likely that they’ll purchase from it again.
Delivery notifications help customers relax about their purchase and increase the trust they place in the online store and the eCommerce industry. They also make operations more efficient when they’re automated.
Contrary to popular belief, automating messages doesn’t mean losing your branding or creating a flat purchasing experience. It’s actually quite the opposite; personalizing the messages takes less time and improves customer satisfaction without a huge investment of resources.
At Outvio, we’re experts at helping online stores build a flawless purchasing experience after the order is placed. We cover fulfilment, shipping, notifications, returns & exchanges and shipping-issue management. Build a sustainable and smooth workflow with Outvio and make your online store stand out. Try it now for free.