Order tracking is a must, from the moment the package leaves the warehouse to the very last mile. But what should you be focusing on?
One thing’s for sure.
It’s hard to keep track of your orders, especially when they’re coming from different sales channels, warehouses or distribution centers, several carriers, and last-mile delivery service providers.
In fact, the last mile of your order fulfillment process (i.e. the delivery to the customer’s residence) is often where most of your headaches occur.
You’re not alone.
A lot of merchants feel overwhelmed when it comes to order tracking. Not only is it difficult to keep track of all the different order statuses and updates, but you also have to worry about communicating with customers proactively and getting their feedback.
Order tracking software can help you manage your last-mile logistics efficiently. With accurate tracking data and real-time updates, both your team and your customers will always know where packages are and when they’re going to arrive at the right destination.
Why Does Last-Mile Tracking Matter?
In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business climate, consumers have come to expect low-cost, ultra-fast delivery from all merchants, regardless of their size. This puts online retailers in a relatively challenging position, particularly when it comes to last-mile delivery.
In fact, more and more consumers expect free or cheap next-day delivery, as the numbers below suggest:
Customers expect frequent order status updates, real-time information about their orders, the estimated time of arrival, the ability to communicate with drivers, and the ability to rate their experience.
Besides, it comes as no surprise that exceptions are often the norm when it comes to supply chain and logistics nowadays. And relying on 3rd-party carrier websites can only take you so far since most of them fit into one or more of the following descriptions:
- Status notifications are not a priority, leading to failed deliveries
- Lack of consistent branding on order tracking pages, text messages, etc.
- No upselling or cross-selling opportunities in transactional emails
Fortunately, there are a number of innovative technologies that have emerged to help eCommerce businesses meet the demands of last-mile delivery tracking.
For example, some companies use smart route optimization software to plan optimized routes for drivers, making sure that each stop is made in the most efficient way possible.
How does last-mile delivery tracking look in numbers?
The global last-mile delivery market size was worth $108.10 billion in 2020 alone and is expected to reach $200.42 billion in 2027. Furthermore, retailers need to combat the most common challenges, such as:
Besides, compounding supply chain problems are causing huge disruptions in the retail industry, especially since the world’s manufacturing powerhouse, China, has been struggling with lockdown restrictions on and off over the past couple of years.
As a result, last-mile tracking software has become a must in any eCommerce business strategy. Ultimately, by leveraging these cutting-edge tools, retailers worldwide can remain competitive and meet consumer expectations without costing them an arm and a leg.
In the end, it all boils down to:
- Order visibility
- Clear communication
- Data analytics
As long as you’re focusing on the three aspects above, you’ll surely be one step closer to delivering the premium post-purchase experience your customers deserve.
Focus On Visibility To Overcome Shipment Exceptions
Imagine you’ve managed to communicate all shipment delays to your customers?
What does your day look like now?
Our guess is that you’ll have fewer (or none) “Where is my order?” calls, emails, or chat conversations. You’ll be more likely able to focus on productive tasks rather than babysitting anxious customers.
Peace and serenity.
To achieve this wonderful state of mind, make sure you track and trace packages and proactively notify customers of any shipping delays or exceptions. Having full visibility over your orders enables you to send out notifications right on time.
However, it’s not just about the last mile. When you have an efficient system in place to manage and track all deliveries from start to end, you’re more likely to tackle delivery issues in advance, increase customer satisfaction, and even exceed customer expectations.
Your team can easily access the dashboard and have an overview of all orders, including shipment exceptions such as the most common ones below:
Proactive Communication Throughout The Delivery Process
Truth is that it’s already too late to provide an exceptional delivery experience if the customer reaches out to you.
Communication is key in any relationship— and that includes the ones you have with your customers.
When it comes to last-mile delivery tracking, proactive communication can make all the difference. By keeping your customers updated on the status of their delivery and providing them with a way to track their shipment in real-time, you can help to ensure that they’re never left in the dark.
Proactive communication can help to head off any potential issues that may arise during the course of delivery. By staying in touch, you can help to ensure that your customers are always kept informed and that any problems that do arise are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
Let’s face it—nobody likes getting a status notification that their package shipment is delayed. We’ve all been there, eagerly refreshing the tracking page only to see that our order is still in the same place it was an hour before.
As frustrating as this experience is for customers, it’s even more frustrating for eCommerce businesses that are struggling to keep up with the demands of fast delivery. Although you cannot avoid or prevent delays, you can sugarcoat this situation.
How? Personalized and branded order tracking portals and delivery notifications give customers a sense of confidence and reassurance that their package is on its way, even if it’s running a little late.
You can even take advantage of transactional emails and text messages to provide frustrated customers with personalized product recommendations, discount coupons, or gift cards to make up for any inconvenience.
Gather and Analyze Customer Feedback For Future Improvements
There’s one thing customers love more than receiving their long-awaited products.
And that is providing their feedback.
Besides, creating a fantastic customer experience is always a work in progress. As your business grows, customer feedback should become part of your regular operations. This will help you identify areas where you need to make improvements.
There are a few different ways to gather customer feedback. You can start by surveying customers after they’ve received their orders and throughout the delivery purchase, or by enabling them to leave reviews on your website or social media pages.
Make sure you ask them how they found the delivery experience, if there’s anything you could do better, whether or not they’re considering repurchasing from you, and how likely they are to recommend you to someone else.
Finally, make sure you listen to your customer service representatives as well since they’re often the first point of contact for customers with order tracking issues or concerns.
Last but not least, analyzing customer feedback is just as important as gathering it. Look for patterns in the data to see where you can make changes that will have a big impact on the customer experience.
Even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to customers!
Conclusions on Last-Mile Carrier Tracking
Let’s cut to the chase— order tracking is the right solution for you to help you improve the last-mile delivery if:
- Your customer care reps are flooded with calls and emails
- Your managers have to handle one too many escalated support inquiries
- These tasks are taking up time that could’ve been spent more productively
If order tracking and delivery notifications weren’t a priority for your business, your customers were probably left in the dark during the most important part of the shipping process— no regular updates, missed or failed deliveries, and lost or stolen packages.
Order tracking and management tools like WeSupply enable you to decrease the volume of “Where is my order?” (aka WISMO) inquiries and create a better work environment for your employees, ultimately leading to better overall performance and increased profitability long-term.