4 Ways to Improve Order Tracking Usability


As the holiday season rapidly approaches, ecommerce marketers are concerned with optimizing everything from checkout processes to product pages to paid search campaigns. But don’t forget the “little” things—WISMO (Where Is My Order) calls can make up to 80 percent of your customer service load, and are largely (but not completely) avoidable if you provide order-tracking tools.

But simply having an order-tracking tool is not enough—it needs to be usable. Here are 4 tips to help customers self-serve better:

1. Include a link to the order-tracking tool in the order confirmation email.

Rather than go to your site, some customers will go back to their order confirmation for a direct link. It also informs customers that you have an order-tracking tool.

Your email subject line and body are important—the users should be able to find your message by searching for “order tracking” and “track your order” in their inbox. Suggested subject lines:

a. “Invoice for [SHOP NAME] Order”
b. “How to Track Your [SHOP NAME] Order”
c. “Your [SHOP NAME] Order Has Shipped”

2. Provide order-tracking instructions for offline (telephone) sales by email.

Have CSRs (customer service representatives) collect email addresses and remind customers they will receive an email with tracking number (if required) and link to Order Tracking page.

3. Make your order-tracking link easy to find.

The best place for your order-tracking link is in your header navigation, top right hand corner. This is conventional placement (most people will expect the link at the top and look there first). Don’t bury the link behind “Help” or “Customer Service” links. Show it off prominently—having an order-tracking feature is a value proposition for shopping with you!

4. Show visually where to find the tracking number on the invoice.

evo is a great example (no, that’s not a typo). It shows on its order-tracking page where to find the tracking number boldly (and restates the estimated shipping time along with the customer service number).

Coleman allows customer to track orders with just a phone number.

Because we’ve all experienced this…

Order tracking usability_image

Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Linda Bustos

As Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path, Linda Bustos works with some of the world’s largest companies to help improve conversion rates and profitability on the Web. In addition to writing the Get Elastic blog since 2007, Linda’s articles have appeared in Mobile Marketer, CMO Magazine, E-Marketing + Commerce, and Search Marketing Standard. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, including XCommerce, Conversion Conference, and Affiliate Management Days.

In 2010, Linda earned a spot on the DMNews Top 30 Direct Marketers Under 30 list. She has served as faculty for the Banff New Media Institute’s Career Accelerator Program and Marketing Profs University, and has appeared as one of the Top 100 Influential Marketers of the year in 2008 and 2009. Prior to joining Elastic Path, Linda worked agency-side, specializing in usability and SEO.

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