When eyeballing ways to grow your business, a quick Google search will yield a lot of information on how to attract and retain customers. Loyalty programs, promos and discounts, email marketing, snail mail postcards—they all play a role in turning one-time customers into long-time fans.
However, another solution you’ll find during these searches is package tracking software. Tracking tools empower businesses and buyers to track orders along their shipping and delivery journey. The immense impact of post-purchase transparency and communication on repeat customer rate and retention has been proven time and time again, but it’s still the underdog phase of the customer journey.
Order management is an often-overlooked but significant part of building relationships with your customers, and it can be the code to building brand equity and scalability. We know that nearly 70% of consumers said the ability to track orders was one of their top three considerations when purchasing a product online. A big factor driving this desire is security as porch pirates are capitalizing on the growing popularity of ecommerce.
So, is tracking software truly the key to earning undying fandom and customer retention? If a shopper can track their new shoes or shiny gold watch, are they more likely to buy and remember the experience? Let’s first take a look at the benefits of using tracking software in ecommerce.
Benefits of Package Tracking Software in Your Ecommerce Strategy
So, what exactly is package tracking? In ecommerce, tracking software allows businesses to monitor their online orders and shipments. So, what exactly is package tracking? In ecommerce, tracking software allows businesses to monitor their online orders and shipments. This tech enables ecommerce companies to communicate the status of every mailer box, polyethylene envelope, and beyond to customers at any point along its shipping journey. Key features of tracking software include carrier details, shipping statuses, estimated delivery dates, and updates about the order, such as whether it’s been processed, packaged, shipped, delayed, and more.
When starting or growing your DTC business, there are a lot of things vying for the top spot on your priority list. Building a website, developing products, managing inventory, and getting customers to your store are all critical steps to earning your first buck. While package tracking software hasn’t historically topped the list, there are some great benefits to folding tracking software into your ecommerce strategy early on:
Reduce customer service costs
With package tracking, brands can offer customers real-time transparency after purchase. Whether stores provide updates via their own branded emails or rely on package tracking software to deliver statuses, the benefit is the same: people know where their stuff is. When customers receive updates on the status of their orders and can easily search through all of their orders to find the information they’re looking for, they ask fewer questions like “Where is my order?” of “Why is my package delayed?”
Without tracking software and the proactive communication it offers, businesses have to pay people to take customer calls and manually relay the information people want to know. Order tracking automates this process, saving ecommerce brands time and money that can go toward other parts of the business, like upping inventory or developing the next hot product.
Meet modern post-purchase customer expectations
Package tracking has come a long way since the idea was first concepted. We’re no longer calling a store directly to check on an order. We aren’t too fond of using lengthy and unclear tracking numbers to find our package ourselves. And it’s unheard of to go more than 24 hours after making a purchase without hearing a peep about it from the brand.
As more ecommerce businesses start to offer modern real-time order tracking, customers have adapted their expectations accordingly. If you want to compete against other retailers in your industry, you’ll need an ecommerce order tracking system in place just to be on par with trends. The worst thing you can tell your customer is, “We don’t know where your package is.” Be in the know at all times with tracking software.
Control fulfillment and issue resolution
Partnering with the right package tracking software means maintaining more control over the order fulfillment process. You’re also alerted when issues arise and can quickly work to mitigate and resolve bumps along the road to delivery. An effective ecommerce fulfillment strategy, which includes order tracking, can help minimize issues and increase the overall value of the customer’s journey. Plus, when you notice issues rearing their heads, a proactive email to relay the right information builds trust and positive experiences in lieu of frustrating or sour ones.
How Better Tracking Can Lead to Customer Retention
In simplest terms, customer retention refers to how long your customers, well, stay customers. It’s a company’s ability to get people to come back and buy again over some period of time. To calculate your own customer retention, here’s a fancy-shmancy formula:
(Number of customers at the end of a time period) – (Number of new customers earned over that time period)
(Number of customers at the beginning of the time period) X 100
For example, if you have 1,000 customers at the start of January and end the month with 1,500 customers all while picking up 700 new ones along the way (nice!), your retention rate would be 80% (also nice!). You got 800 of your original customers to come back alongside the 700 new ones. Now, an 80% CRR is very impressive since the average rate for ecommerce brands is 35%. Keep in mind that this number will also depend greatly on your products, time range, and industry.
The fact remains, though, that a high customer retention in ecommerce means customers are coming back and shopping with you again instead of shopping elsewhere for products like yours (known as the dreaded “C” word: churn). Higher retention rates are a healthy sign of earned or growing loyalty, and lots of loyalty is the secret to long-term scaling and success for any business.
In 2021, nearly half of organizations worldwide cited increased customer loyalty as a driver for an improved customer experience. For further proof of the rising importance of retention, it’s finally toppled acquisition and conversion as top business priorities in the year. While lowering stats like customer acquisition costs or costs per click or support needs are still important to hitting goals, just a meager 5% increase in customer retention rate could increase profits 25% to 95%.
Having loyal customers leads to growth and brand equity, which brings us back to package tracking and cracking the code to boosted retention rates. Retention is affected by several factors, including (but not limited to):
- brand transparency
- feedback implementation
- issue resolution
- service and support
- company values and mission
- last-mile delivery
- customer experience
All of those elements along the shopper’s journey are impacted by what happens after checkout, such as the package tracking experience. Without helpful and proactive package tracking updates, customers get…antsy. Post-purchase anxiety sets in, and without clear and current communication from the brand, people can start to wonder if they’ve been scammed, when they should expect their purchase, who they can talk to should problems arise, and beyond.
With questions and uncertainty swirling, customers can grow frustrated and distrusting of the brand—all of which might not be able to be repaired even if the package shows up undamaged.
Sixty-one percent of consumers say that a positive delivery experience incentivizes them to return, 98.1% say shipping impacts brand loyalty, and three-quarters believe that proactive communication is an important part of the delivery experience. If the post-purchase delivery experience is subpar—say, when customers experience frustration and anxiety—84% won’t come back. In a nutshell, if your brand goes radio silent after purchase, modern customers will take note and probably not come back anytime soon.
Package tracking software elevates the service that ecommerce companies can provide to customers during their post-purchase experience. As a result, customer experiences and satisfaction improves—and in turn, so do customer retention and loyalty. You are putting the customer in control of their destiny when they can place an order and swiftly track their package from the time it leaves the warehouse to when it arrives on their doorstep. The more transparent a DTC brand can be throughout the delivery journey, the better.
A Route to Package Tracking Domination
The ecommerce industry is an ever-evolving entity that recently experienced one of its biggest growth spurts caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As consumer behaviors, products, models, and brands change, so do expectations for the entire customer experience. Package tracking is no longer a part of the shopping journey that can simply be dropped in the customer’s lap, especially after the advancements and norms set by the likes of industry leaders like Amazon and Walmart.
There have been evolutions in technology that make better post-purchase experiences possible for every online brand, not just the deep-pocketed behemoths. Route has a pulse on several tracking iterations that reduce customer service costs while exceeding the expectations of the customer. Our suite of post-purchase tools includes package tracking software that delivers timely communication, branded engagement, and simple issue resolution if something isn’t quite right during delivery.
If package tracking software is the next step in your ecommerce strategy, it should include one or more of the following means to track packages and communicate with customers:
- Branded email updates
- SMS text and push notifications
- Real-time visual tracking
- Shareable tracking details
- One dashboard to watch it all
When considering package tracking software and evaluating factors such as price, channel, brand, and results, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
How much time can you invest in new tracking strategies?
Where are your customers primarily shopping, e.g., mobile, desktop?
How much control do you want over how your brand engages in the post-purchase experience?
How will you measure tracking success?
The importance and impact of a thoughtful and comprehensive post-purchase experience is critical to improving the customer’s journey with your ecommerce business. A major component to any memorable and engaging ecommerce experience is the ability to stem anxiety, build trust, and track packages. Implementing package tracking software is also becoming a point of parity with competitors, so the sooner you start giving customers the benefit of better tracking, the sooner you can stem churn.
Customer retention is a tricky stat to boost, but with Route package tracking software in your tech stack, it’s easier than you imagined.