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Jaidyn Farar

Real-Time Tracking and Logistics for Ecommerce Businesses

by Jaidyn Farar

Ecommerce businesses meticulously design order fulfillment processes to ensure that packages reach customers on time and intact. But because customers don’t have visibility into these behind-the-scenes processes, they don’t always trust merchants to deliver on their promises.

Providing package tracking helps you ease consumer anxieties and create a better buying experience. It also gives your team access to data that you can use to refine your shipping and logistics strategy.

Let's talk about what real-time tracking is, how it works, how you can elevate your tracking experience, and the easiest way to allow your customers to track their packages.

What is real-time tracking?

Real-time tracking is a system that lets you monitor the status and location of shipments during transit. Carriers provide information on the movement of packages—including timestamps and locations—which recipients can access through tracking portals and automatic notifications. Shippers can also access tracking information, using the data to optimize their carrier selection and shipping strategy.

How does real-time shipment tracking work?

Shipment tracking starts when you create shipping labels for packages; each label includes a unique barcode that corresponds to a real-time tracking number. As carriers unload packages at transportation checkpoints, the barcodes are scanned, and the tracking system is updated with each package’s status and location. 

Note: Although some shipping carriers use GPS, RFID, and other technologies to monitor shipments more minutely, this is usually a special service reserved for high-value or time-sensitive deliveries. 

Package tracking provides every customer with real-time visibility into where their package is, allowing them to anticipate when it will arrive. If a delivery is delayed, the recipient can adjust their expectations accordingly. If it arrives early, they can bring it inside before porch pirates strike.

Customers can find tracking information via an online portal or sign up to receive notifications through email, text, or an app. According to one study, people are most interested in knowing when their order is received (58%), when it’s out for delivery (60%), and when it’s delayed (51%). 

Once tracking data has been collected, businesses can use the insights to collaborate with carriers, address issues such as lost, stolen, and delayed packages, and optimize delivery performance. 

Benefits of real-time delivery tracking for ecommerce businesses

Why should you provide tracking services for your customers? The first and most important reason is that online shoppers want this service. When you offer reliable tracking, you create a better online shopping experience—and that keeps customers coming back.

  • 79% of people feel a sense of ownership of a product before it’s even delivered to them.
  • 96% of consumers say they track their orders.
  • 87.4% of customers report that real-time order tracking improves the buying experience.
  • 57% of people say that the online shopping experience influences their brand loyalty. 

Consumers love transparency. By providing your customers with up-to-date tracking information, you show you care about their experience. However, customer satisfaction isn’t the only benefit to consider. Let’s dive deeper into the advantages of tracking your shipments.

  • View, analyze, and predict shipments. You can leverage real-time package tracking data to monitor the status of shipments, identify patterns, and forecast delivery times. 
  • Manage supply chain disruptions. Tracking data helps you quickly identify and respond to delays or other delivery issues. 
  • Increase on-time deliveries. When you recognize patterns in delivery times, you can choose carriers that consistently deliver packages on time. This improves your overall shipping performance.
  • Strengthen carrier relationships. Sharing tracking data and collaborating on resolving issues improves communication and fosters stronger partnerships with carriers, leading to more reliable delivery services. When you have evidence of performance, your conversations with logistics partners will be more productive for both parties.
  • Decrease operational costs. Accurate tracking helps reduce the costs associated with lost or delayed packages, customer service inquiries, and returns.

Real-time tracking the easy way

The best real-time tracking solutions for high-volume shippers aren’t standalone platforms—they’re part of a comprehensive shipping solution like EasyPost Enterprise Shipping. With EasyPost Enterprise, you can leave outdated legacy software behind and modernize every step of the shipping process, including shipment tracking. 

EasyPost also offers advanced analytics software, including a Parcel Visibility module that makes it simple to monitor shipment volumes, carrier performance, on-time delivery rates, package characteristics, and more.

Get in touch to elevate your real-time tracking experience.