What is Order-Tracking in E-commerce?
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The e-commerce and retail industries aren't the same as before. With modernization changing the landscape, businesses must have what modern consumers are looking for. Nowadays, the capability of order tracking is also a priority in e-commerce, apart from quality products, ethical practices, and good services. But what is order tracking? How can it impact the customer experience and a retailer’s services? What SOLUM Group solutions can make order tracking easier?

What is order tracking?
Order tracking refers to the process that allows both retailers and customers to monitor the status and location of orders in real time, from the moment the order is placed to the moment it arrives at the destination. Order tracking can also include the process by which retailers can keep track of the progress of an order placed with a supplier or a vendor.


In e-commerce, order tracking is a crucial part of the order fulfillment process. It provides transparency and convenience for customers. This is because it allows them to stay informed about the progress of their order without needing to contact customer support. It also brings peace of mind to a lot of retailers, as they can ensure their products get to their customers in good condition. This will help increase the quality of service and customer satisfaction.


Some of the aspects of order tracking include:

 

  • Order placing
  • Order packing
  • Order number or tracking number
  • Updates and alerts
  • Delivery tracking

 

Once an order is moving, order tracking also provides order statuses that will help users see the current status of their package. These usually reflect the different stages of the order fulfillment process.  Order statuses might look like specific terminology and may come with certain explanations, depending on the business or the shipping carrier. Common order statuses include:

 

  1. Pending: The order has been received but has not yet been processed. This status might also indicate that the payment is awaiting confirmation, therefore, the order is awaiting further action such as verification, packaging, or shipment.
    Processing: The order is being prepared for shipment. This status usually means that the items have been picked from inventory, packaged, and are ready to be handed over to the retailer’s delivery or shipping carrier.
  2. Shipped: The order has been handed over to the shipping carrier for delivery. This status indicates that the package is now in transit and on its way to the customer's recorded shipping address.
  3. Out for Delivery: The package has arrived in a logistics center and is currently being delivered to the final location or the customer's shipping address. This status usually means that the package is with the shipping carrier's delivery personnel and is expected to be delivered to the customer within the day.
  4. Delivered or Completed: The package has been successfully delivered to the customer's shipping address. This status confirms that the order has reached its destination and is in the customer's possession.
  5. Failed: This order tracking status might mean that the delivery attempt is unsuccessful. It might be due to certain issues, delays, navigation problems, and more.
  6. Canceled: This means the order has been canceled either by the customer or by the e-commerce business. This status indicates that the transaction has been voided, and any associated payment will be refunded if applicable.
  7. On Hold: The order is temporarily on hold due to various reasons. This might include inventory issues, payment verification, warehouse delays or issues, or various customer requests. This status means that the order is not currently being processed but may be resumed later.
  8. Backordered: Some or all of the items in the order are currently out of stock, and the fulfillment of the order is delayed until the items become available again. This status informs the customer about the delay and the expected timeframe for fulfillment.
  9. Returned: The customer has returned the order for a refund or exchange. This status indicates that the returned items have been received by the e-commerce business and that appropriate action is being taken to process the return.

 

Order tracking in e-commerce also helps retailers and merchants identify delays and issues. This will give them time to analyze the situation and determine any countermeasures or solutions for these delays. Overall, this process is a crucial element of modern e-commerce. Without it, no customer will be able to fully trust a retailer, and the chances that retailers can build a loyal fanbase will ultimately decrease.

 

How does order tracking in e-commerce work?
Order tracking in e-commerce involves several steps and technologies to ensure that customers can monitor the status of their orders from initial purchase to delivery. Here's a general breakdown of how it works:

  1. Order Placement: Customers place orders on an e-commerce website, mobile app, or any other platform of the specific retailer. During this process, the customers provide their shipping address, and payment information, and select a preferred shipping method.
  2. Order Processing: After the customer completes the checkout process, the e-commerce platform processes the order. This involves verifying payment, updating inventory records, and notifying the retailer to prepare the items for shipment.
  3. Generation of Tracking Information: Once the order is processed, a unique tracking number is generated for the shipment. This tracking number serves as a reference point to track the package throughout its journey. With this, customers will have the chance to check the status of their order, and later, the delivery progress.
  4. Integration with Shipping Carriers: E-commerce platforms often integrate with various shipping carriers, such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL, depending on the country or region of the business. These integrations allow for real-time communication between the e-commerce platform and the shipping carrier's systems. Other retailers might also have their own in-house fleet management. This allows them to ship and deliver their products and merchandise without having to rely on third-party logistics and shipping companies.
  5. Notification to Customer: The customer receives an order confirmation, usually an email or SMS, containing the details of their purchase. This usually includes the tracking number, items in their package, and sometimes the estimated time of delivery. This notification informs the customer that their order has been successfully placed and provides them with the means to track its progress.
  6. Shipment Tracking: Customers can use the provided tracking number to monitor the status of their order. They can usually do this by visiting the carrier's website or using a tracking tool or portal provided by the e-commerce platform or website. The tracking information typically includes details such as when the package was shipped, its current location as of the last system update, and the estimated delivery date.
  7. Updates and Alerts: Throughout the shipping process, customers may receive regular updates and alerts regarding the status of their orders. These notifications could include information about package movement, unexpected delays, delivery attempts, issues, and other alerts.
  8. Delivery Confirmation: Once the package is delivered to the customer’s doorstep, the shipping carrier updates the tracking information to reflect the successful delivery. Customers may receive a final notification confirming the delivery of their order.

In conclusion, by providing order-tracking capabilities, e-commerce businesses enhance the overall customer experience. With more transparency and less uncertainty, customers will have faith and confidence regarding the receipt of their purchases. Additionally, it helps e-commerce businesses and retailers manage their fulfillment and logistics operations more efficiently.

 

Why is order tracking essential?
Order tracking is essential for several reasons, especially in the modern world today. Both customers and e-commerce businesses can benefit from this process, strengthening bonds between customers and retailers.


Here are some reasons why order tracking is a necessity:

 

Customer satisfaction
Order tracking provides transparency and reassurance to customers about the status of their purchases. It reduces the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with ordering online. This is done by keeping customers informed about the whereabouts of their orders from the moment they are placed until they are delivered successfully. This transparency enhances customer satisfaction and fosters trust and confidence in the e-commerce retailer.

 

Convenience
Customers appreciate the convenience of being able to track their orders online or through mobile apps. Modern consumers, especially, rely on online orders and, therefore, on order tracking. The number of online shoppers as of 2024 is 2.7 billion, and every year it only continues to grow. Order tracking will provide convenience to these billions of online consumers. Of course, it will also eliminate the need for customers to contact customer support for order updates. As a result, this will save time and effort for both the customer and the business.

 

Manageable expectations
Order tracking helps manage customer expectations regarding delivery times. Customers can see estimated delivery dates and track the progress of their orders in real time. This reduces confusion and unreasonable expectations from customers. This way, the retailer cannot be held accountable for unmanageable expectations.

 

Problem resolution and action
In case of any issues or delays with the order, order tracking allows customers and retailers to identify problems early on and take necessary actions. Whether it's contacting customer support, rerouting the package, or rescheduling delivery, order tracking enables timely problem resolution. Businesses might also choose to offer compensation for any delayed package to customers. This includes discounts, freebies for their next order, exclusive promos, partial refunds, and more.

 

Reduced customer inquiries
Providing order tracking functionality can significantly reduce the volume of customer inquiries related to order status. Customers can easily check the status of their orders themselves, which reduces the burden on customer support teams. The average response time for most customer emails is 12 hours. An order tracking capability frees up time, and responsibility, and allows customer support to focus on other pressing matters.

 

Operational and logistics efficiency
For e-commerce businesses, especially those with their own fleet, order tracking helps manage logistics operations more efficiently. It provides valuable insights into the movement of packages, helps identify potential bottlenecks or delays in the shipping process, and enables businesses to optimize their supply chain management.

 

Customer retention and loyalty
Offering order tracking as part of the customer experience can contribute to customer retention and loyalty. When customers have a positive experience with ordering and the whole fulfillment process, they are more likely to return for future purchases and recommend the retailer to others.

 

What are the types of order tracking in e-commerce?
In e-commerce, there are various types of order-tracking methods and tools that businesses can utilize to keep customers informed about the status of their orders. Here are some common types of order tracking in e-commerce:

  1. Carrier Tracking: This is the most common type of order tracking, especially for retailers who use third-party logistics instead of their own delivery management. Customers can track their orders using the tracking number provided by the shipping carrier. They can easily visit the carrier's website or use their tracking tool to monitor the movement of their package from the point of shipment to delivery.
  2. E-commerce Platform Tracking: Many e-commerce platforms offer built-in order tracking features. Customers can log in to their accounts on the e-commerce website or app to view the status of their orders from various retailers or stores. They will be able to check the tracking information, estimated delivery dates, and any other updates.
  3. Email Notifications: e-commerce businesses often send email notifications to customers at various stages of the order fulfillment process. These emails may include order confirmation, shipment confirmation with tracking details, delivery updates, and feedback requests after delivery.
  4. SMS Notifications: Some e-commerce businesses provide order tracking updates via SMS messages. Customers receive text messages with important order and delivery updates directly on their mobile phones.
  5. Mobile Apps: e-commerce businesses or retailers may have dedicated mobile apps that allow customers to track their orders on the go. These apps provide a convenient way for customers to access order tracking information, receive push notifications, and manage all kinds of orders from their smartphones or tablets.
  6. Chatbots and Live Chat: e-commerce businesses may integrate chatbots or live chat support on their websites or apps to assist customers with order tracking inquiries. Customers can interact with the chatbot or live agent to request order status updates, track their packages, and resolve any order issues or concerns.
  7. Business Asset Tags: Some other retailers and merchants might also implement modern technology such as business asset trackers. These will help monitor and track any assets from dispatch until their arrival at their destination. These asset tags will be beneficial for keeping track of bulk orders, expensive deliveries, and other special items in real time. 

 

SOLUM Trace as an order-tracking solution for retailers
For businesses that want a digitized and smart way of tracking their merchandise on the way to their customers, SOLUM Group has the answer. SOLUM Trace is a business asset tracking solution and inventory management for various retail settings.


SOLUM Trace asset tags are powered by Bluetooth® Low Power (BLE), making them compatible with third-party tools, accurate, and long-lasting. It also has a temperature sensor to let retailers know if the merchandise—like food, beverages, vaccines, medicine, and more—is at optimal temperature, preventing spoilage, damage, or contamination.


Moreover, SOLUM Trace comes in various options. There are sticker tags, slim tags, and coin tags, allowing for a versatile attachment no matter what the merchandise or the size of the package. Retailers will also be able to print anything on it, such as barcode labels, tracking numbers, brand names, or logos.


Apart from being able to track product movement at all times, SOLUM Trace does not require massive infrastructure changes to operate. This means different kinds of retailers can gain full visibility of asset tracking and provide order tracking with this solution.


Here are various types of businesses that can take advantage of SOLUM Trace as an order-tracking solution:

  • Clothing and apparel stores
  • Food and beverage companies
  • Office supply businesses
  • Pharmaceutical and medical companies
  • Electronics stores
  • Supermarket chains
  • Furniture stores
  • Department stores
  • e-commerce retailers


These are just a few examples of retailers that can utilize SOLUM Trace. Order tracking is truly a necessity for the retail and e-commerce industries in this digital age. SOLUM Group will be here to help.


Contact SOLUM Group experts now and find out how SOLUM Trace can enhance your order tracking system!

SOLUM Marketing

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order tracking, order-tracking, what is order tracking
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