How important is order tracking to customer experience?

In the world of ecommerce, merchants are constantly competing to stand out among the rest. How do you attract the right customers and keep them long-term when there are several other brands vying for the same audience?

While price and product are important factors, optimizing the customer experience (CX) can be a key way for merchants to truly shine. In fact, according to a study by PwC, 73% of consumers say that customer experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions, more so than price or product quality.

This means that every aspect of the customer experience must be carefully crafted and refined, and even seemingly small details may make a big impact. One of these game-changing details is order tracking. Today, we’ll explore the importance of order tracking in ecommerce, and how you can improve your own approach. 

Is order tracking important for customer experience?

Of all the touch points in the customer experience, shipping and delivery is one of the most vital. 95% of customers say that shipping impacts their loyalty to an online retailer.

Shipping and delivery can often be where merchants fall short of expectations, and it can have serious repercussions for retention. This is especially true during key periods with high order volumes and hard deadlines like the holiday season. Think about it, if you were ordering a gift for a loved one and it didn’t arrive on time despite ordering before the deadline, you’d likely lay some blame with the retailer. 

Customer expectations are higher than ever, particularly as many have experience with retailers such as Amazon where shipping is super fast and often free or low-cost. And when you don’t meet those expectations, the impact is very real. In one report, 84% of customers said they would stop shopping with a retailer after one negative shipping experience. 

However, when you do meet expectations you really will reap the rewards. In one survey, 96% of customers said that a positive delivery experience would encourage them to shop with an online retailer again. 

Order tracking is one of the primary ways merchants can improve that delivery experience for customers. 95% of customers say that tracking is essential to their experience. And it’s not just about having a tracking link, but about getting specific information about the whereabouts of their order. In other words, if you want to make even more impact, you need to offer real-time tracking.

How to improve your order tracking

Offering real-time tracking is an easy way to improve your customer experience. The benefits are twofold - the first is the customer having more information, and the second being you can offer a fully branded experience. 

Having access to more tracking information is essential to customers. It not only gives them peace of mind, but also makes it less likely that they’ll reach out to your customer support team. This self-service style of customer service is something customers look for - 81% of customers attempt to take care of things themselves before using support channels, and 67% prefer self-service over speaking to a representative. By offering real-time tracking, you give them the communication and information they need, in the format they prefer most. 

In order to really maximize the benefits of real-time tracking to your brand, you can use an app that enables you to better control the experience. If your store uses the Shopify platform, you can use apps like Order Lookup to craft a fully branded, customizable tracking portal for your customers. This enables you to add your own branding and language to the tracking portal, and gives customers a tracking tool that will present real-time information in a clear way. 

Typically, when you give your customers a tracking number, they need to input that into the courier’s own tracking system to get updates. Sometimes this is straightforward, however every courier has a different user interface. If you use a couple of different couriers to ship your orders, then this can make for an inconsistent experience if a customer returns for a repeat purchase. You can’t control what the experience looks like on the courier’s end, yet it will be seen by the customer as part of your customer experience. 

In using an app like Order Lookup, you can provide consistency and clarity every single time a customer places an order. The app is compatible with over 100 different shipping carriers, and allows merchants to add notes to orders. You can then send customers to your own tracking portal, taking back control of your customer experience end-to-end. 

Every little detail of the customer experience adds up. When you get it right, customers are satisfied and more likely to return for a future purchase. The more customers you delight, you’ll build up a solid base of loyal customers you can rely on to grow your business.