By Devin Partida
In an era when everything is digital and happens with just a few taps, retail must be just as easy. Customers want responsive tracking so they know where their items are every step of the way. Now, it’s not only a luxury to have this tracking info, but a necessity. As a retailer, you can benefit while helping the consumer.
Why Tracking Is Important
The following advantages show how you can benefit from the simple addition of order tracking.
E-commerce was already growing before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Once it arrived, even more retailers flocked to the internet. From March to May of 2020 alone, each field of retail in Canada grew dramatically. Now, retailers must offer some form of online service to thrive.
On top of the pandemic’s impact, retailers also are seeing the Amazon Effect. Brands are already competing online, but Amazon’s fast shipping and order tracking require smaller businesses to step up their game.
With better tracking tools, your retail services will keep up with consumer demands and help you stand out amongst competitors.
2. Risk Mitigation
When it comes to shipping, the retailer is ultimately responsible for the package. You may have to issue a refund or credit if the package gets damaged, lost, or stolen while in transit. If it happens too often, the costs quickly add up. Instead, tracking mitigates these risks and enhances your reliability.
When you, the customer, and the delivery driver know exactly where the package is or where it should be, risks decrease. Tracking encourages overall communication, which keeps orders safe and on the right track.
3. Customer Satisfaction
The bottom line relies on customer satisfaction. Going above and beyond their expectations will help you stand out as a retailer. Tracking is a primary way to do so. They’ll get to see the expected delivery date and current location, and timestamps to accompany them. Tracking information can also update them about delays or weather impediments.
The tracking number itself is also a handy tool. If customers have any questions, they can contact customer service and read the number so employees can find the exact order. However, you can use chatbots for customer service as well. These will help customers with basic tasks and free up the number of available employees.
How to Add Tracking
To properly achieve the above benefits, retailers can use the following methods to add tracking to product orders.
1. Use Different Tracking Numbers
Using a tracking number is the most essential step. However, you can use two different numbers to maximize efficiency and organization. When it comes to behind-the-scenes fulfillment with suppliers and manufacturers, you can ask for a tracking number to ensure you get the right products and get them on time.
Then, the second tracking number will be for you, the delivery driver, and the customer. If you want, you can create your own system for order tracking. Otherwise, you can find several apps and existing systems to integrate into your business model. ShipStation, VIA, and ShipHawk are just a few examples that will start you out.
2. GPS Tracking
A somewhat newer form of tracking uses GPS technology. Standard order tracking will provide the location once a facility or driver scans it into a new phase of the delivery. However, GPS software goes above and beyond. Typically, the sensor will attach to the vehicle, not the package itself, so that retailers can track several items at once.
This form of monitoring comes with added benefits on top of standard tracking numbers. Customers get to see exactly where their delivery vehicle is. They can also get alerts about hazardous weather conditions and any delays while still knowing where their item is, in case it has to return to the post office.
3. Work With Online Services
As a retailer, you may want your own tracking system for your orders. Other times, working with an online service will set you up with tracking information immediately, hassle-free. For instance, Shopify lets you add tracking information both before and after fulfilling the order. Shopify also works with Canada Post.
Other online sellers include Amazon and eBay. These sites will also help you add tracking information. If you don’t work with e-commerce companies, instead connect with postal and delivery services to create the best tracking system.
The Best Connections
As you add order tracking, you give consumers a better method of communicating and understanding the process. They know when to expect the order, which adds a layer of customer satisfaction, all while you stay on top of the order and stand out as a retailer.