The shippers’ race to a great tracking experience

We reveal shippers’ opportunities to get more mileage out of order tracking with simple—and often free—upgrades

This month on BOXpoll, we’re auditing the ecommerce market on the quality of its order tracking experiences. While any brand can send a shipment confirmation email with a tracking number, doing tracking well is a much higher bar. A brand’s tracking page is often an under-leveraged opportunity to build excitement and maintain connection after the customer hits the buy button.

After all, consumers reported checking order tracking an average of 2.8 times per order in 2023, with GenZ and Millennials checking even more often (4.1 times and 3.2 times, respectively), according to nine months of BOXpoll survey data.

At the same time, the number one tracking challenge online brands face is difficulty differentiating their customer tracking experience, according to our BOXpoll survey of almost 400 retailers.

Given these facts, we compared consumer preferences with our BOXscore secret shopping data to see how well ecommerce brands are measuring up to the tracking features their customers want.

According to our BOXpoll surveys, online shoppers’ top three priorities in an order tracking experience are:

  • Information about when to expect their package
  • Information about where their package is (without having to enter any log-in information)
  • The option to get order updates via SMS/text-- especially for GenZ and Millennial respondents.

Current state of the market

Our BOXscore secret shopping data from more than 2,100 online retailers revealed shockingly low adoption of these features. While our database does include a significant number of smaller shippers with no dedicated tracking page at all, it reflects opportunity in the market for brands to better meet customer expectations with relatively simple—and often free—upgrades to their order tracking experience.

Best tracking practices in action

One example of a standout tracking experience comes from Marleylilly, a digitally native boutique specializing in monogrammed gifts and a 2023 BOX Award recipient for its excellent order tracking experience.

Marleylilly’s branded tracking experience, which uses Pitney Bowes Consumer Connect to its full potential, offers its customers:

  • Precise Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) information​
  • Detailed tracking updates that don’t require a log-in
  • Branded SMS/text and email notification options that automatically update the customer if an order’s EDD changes
  • Post-purchase engagement using promotional modules
  • Relevant product recommendations and social channel amplification

As part of our ongoing commitment to defining ecommerce order experience best practices, Pitney Bowes annual BOX Awards recognize brands who create excellent customer experiences using indelible and differentiated features. Our congratulations to Marleylilly on winning the 2023 BOX Award for giving its customers what all online shoppers want from a tracking experience: visibility, simplicity, and interactivity.

BOXpollTM by Pitney Bowes, a weekly survey on current events, culture, and ecommerce logistics. Retailer survey conducted by Pitney Bowes // 398 US retailers surveyed May-July 2023. Consumer survey conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult // 2200 US consumers surveyed September 2023. © Copyright Pitney Bowes Inc.

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