How parcel tracking became part of modern consumer delivery expectations

By Ed Smith, freelance writer

Do you expect a certain standard of service every time you order something online? From fast and flexible delivery slots to seamless returns, the rise of ecommerce has driven various logistical advances as we do an increasing amount of our shopping at home.

Online giants such as Amazon had already brought about a significant shift in buying habits before the pandemic struck. With so much of the world’s population now used to staying at home, our digital shopping preferences are expected to stick around forever.    

Parcel tracking is another now-crucial feature of the post-purchase experience as businesses compete to win consumer loyalty. A recent global ecommerce report found that 69% of buyers put it in their top three considerations when buying online.   

Below we explore what it is that makes parcel tracking crucial in building brand trust.    

What makes parcel tracking so desirable?

From essential items to spontaneous retail therapy, nobody wants to spend time worrying when and where a parcel will arrive. An estimated delivery date is no longer enough for many consumers. What happens if something goes wrong or plans change in between?

Parcel tracking provides clarity and confidence from the moment someone clicks buy to the second a parcel turns up at home. Consumers can quickly find out what stage their parcel is at right down to the very last mile of a delivery driver’s journey.  

This increased visibility is especially valued when it comes to luxury or high-price purchases, with 56% of shoppers making it their number one delivery priority in these scenarios. Without it, they’re unlikely to feel as comfortable parting with their hard-earned cash for a product they haven’t physically seen.

The same report also shows it to be an effective means of encouraging more international sales alongside free or more affordable rates. Technological advances have made it easier to reach foreign audiences than ever before - and generating accurate shipping updates can break down barriers further.

In this case, providing a branded tracking option will build trust more effectively than outsourcing to an unfamiliar logistics supplier. Creating a seamless online shopping and delivery experience could be what differentiates one international seller from another.          

What other delivery trends are on the rise?

Flexible delivery slots and parcel tracking aren’t the only things on buyers’ minds in 2020. Other demands include options to choose delivery carriers and to consolidate orders when buying multiple items.    

Clamour for eco-friendly packaging is also increasing as public concern for the environment – already at an all-time high according to YouGov – continues to grow.

For sellers, automation and outsourcing are offering crucial ways to save time and money while fulfilling increased orders.   

With the pandemic continuing to weave its course, a well-optimised delivery system could be crucial to the survival of many businesses. Is parcel tracking one of your key expectations?

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