Ultimate Guide to Shipment Notifications in 2024

Shipment notifications have emerged as a great opportunity to meet these customer needs and provide effective solutions in 2024.

Ultimate Guide to Shipment Notifications in 2024
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

The eCommerce industry has experienced a significant boom in recent years. As more customers embrace online shopping, their expectations have also evolved.

They want proactive engagement and real-time information about their precious packages, not endless website check-ins.

This is where shipment notifications step in, not just as updates, but as opportunities to transform the post-purchase journey into a delight.

What are Shipment Notifications?

Shipment notifications, also called delivery notifications, are messages sent by eCommerce merchants to keep customers informed about their orders.

Customers receive information like tracking numbers, estimated arrival dates, and even product suggestions, keeping them informed and engaged throughout the delivery process.

Shipment Notifications

Let’s explore why are shipment notifications important for eCommerce business success.

Why do You Need Shipment Notifications?

People always want to know where are their packages. When there’s no notification, shoppers will constantly check tracking information or contact customer support for updates.

To handle these inquiries, you need a whole team to receive questions, inquire about corresponding orders, and respond to customers. This is a huge and inefficient task that consumes a lot of time and money.

With the shipment notifications, it’s easy to resolve this problem now that your customers will be notified when order status or shipment status changes. Use shipment notifications to send proactive package status updates to shoppers saving you from the hassle of having a large team dealing with WISMO problem.

In addition to solving these problems, shipment notifications bring other benefits like product recommendations. This serves as an opportunity for businesses to showcase complementary items or personalized offers based on the customer's purchase history. These recommendations can enhance the shopping experience, encourage repeat purchases, and increase your revenue.

What Makes the Best Shipment Notifications?

Three essential elements that determine whether the shipping notification is appropriate and perfect are:

  1. Notification Triggers: determines when the notification should be sent to the recipient.
  2. Notification Channels: the medium through which the notification is delivered to the recipient. Common channels include email, SMS (text messages), Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.
  3. Notification Message: the content of email, SMS, etc.

Notification Triggers

Shipment notifications are triggered based on specific events or conditions that occur during the shipment and order process. Generally, based on shipment status changes, those triggers include:

  • Shipment pickup: Shipment pickup: This notification is sent when the shipping carrier collects the package from the sender's location or a designated drop-off point.
  • In Transit: During the transportation process, there are multiple checkpoints along the route. Some carriers may send notifications at each checkpoint to provide updates on the package's progress and estimated delivery time.
  • Out for delivery: This notification is sent when the package is out for delivery and en route to its final destination. It informs the recipient that their package will be delivered soon.
  • Delivered: These notifications keep customers informed about the status of their package during the final stages of delivery. They typically include updates such as "available for pickup", or "delivered", etc.
  • Shipment exception: These notifications are sent when there are unexpected delays or issues with the delivery. The purpose is to inform the customer about the problem and provide necessary information to help resolve it.

Trigger Frequency

Since tracking information often has numerous checkpoints, it may not be ideal to trigger a notification for every new checkpoint. Instead, it is more effective to send notifications only when there is a change in the shipment's main status or substatus. This ensures that customers receive relevant updates without being overwhelmed by excessive notifications.

Message Delivery Time

When sending notifications via SMS or other IM channels like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, it is important to consider the timing of delivery. For example, you don’t want to send an SMS notification to a customer during nighttime hours when it might disturb their sleep. Setting appropriate delivery times helps ensure customers receive notifications at convenient and acceptable hours.

Some software allows you to customize the delivery time.

Schedule SMS

Advanced trigger

Advanced triggers can indeed be helpful in managing complex situations and providing a more tailored experience to customers.

Scenario 1: Customizing notification type based on the recipient's location

Set up an advanced trigger that examines the recipient's location and determines the appropriate notification channel. By doing so, you can ensure that your customers receive notifications in the most effective and preferred way for their specific location.

Scenario 2: Sending notifications when there is no change in status for x days

For this scenario, you can create an advanced trigger that monitors the status of a particular event, task, or process. The trigger can be set to check if there has been no change in the status for a specified number of days. If the condition is met, the trigger can automatically send a notification to the customer and yourself, alerting you both about the situation. This proactive approach allows you to take timely action, ensuring that any necessary steps are taken when there is a lack of progress or change.

Notification Channels

There are multiple channels through which shipment notifications can be sent to customers:

  • Email: The classic choice offers flexibility and convenience for customers to check at their own pace. It's also cost-effective for businesses.
  • SMS: SMS notifications have a higher open rate and are well-suited for conveying concise updates such as delivery notifications and tracking links. They provide a direct and efficient way of reaching customers.
  • IM Channels: Instant messaging (IM) channels like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have become popular options for sending shipment notifications to customers. These IM platforms offer real-time communication and convenience, allowing businesses to provide updates on the go.
  • Mobile Push Notifications: Mobile push notifications are another effective channel for shipment notifications. By utilizing push technology, businesses can send real-time updates directly to customers' mobile devices, keeping them well-informed throughout the order process.

Notification Message

Most shipment software provides built-in message templates. This means you don't need to rely on third-party services to send out these notifications. However, if you are already using a notification platform, such as Klaviyo, and therefore do not want to manage and edit email templates in multiple places, you should consider shipping software that is integrated with these notification platforms. We'll discuss this later.

Email and SMS notifications often have different content editing processes. In email notifications, you have more flexibility to create longer messages with formatting options like paragraphs, bullet points, and images. You can also include links or attachments in emails to provide additional information or resources.

On the other hand, you must keep SMS messages concise and straight to the point. Since SMS has a limited character count, it is important to prioritize brevity while ensuring the message effectively conveys the necessary details.

Therefore, when working with both email and SMS notifications, it's important to consider the different editing approaches and adapt the content to suit each medium effectively:

Email Notifications

Next, we will discuss the creation and optimization process of the two notification channels in detail. The first is email, which you need to consider the following two premises first:

  1. Email Sender: The sender's email address should be customizable so that you can use your own email domain for sending out emails. This customization allows for a better branding identity, as your customers will recognize the sender as coming from your company.
  2. Email Content: Shipment software typically includes predefined email templates for different triggers. These templates provide a starting point for crafting the content of your email notifications. Having different templates for each trigger helps in sending appropriate and relevant information based on the situation.

Content Editing

Content editing is about how you update email content. Usually, shipment tracking software will provide some editors for you to update. There are 2 typical email editors:

Email Editor
  • Visual Editor: a visual editor is user-friendly and does not require knowledge of HTML coding. It allows you to easily customize the email content and make it align with your branding. However, visual editors may have limitations when it comes to advanced features like responsive design or dark mode.
  • Code-Based Editor: If you require more control over email styling and want to implement advanced features, such as responsive design or dark mode, a code-based editor is available. This editor allows you to directly edit the HTML code of the email template. However, using a code-based editor requires some programming experience or knowledge to make modifications effectively.

Email Personalization

Email Localization

To achieve email personalization and set advanced triggers for customized emails, here are some options you can consider:

  1. Customer Localization: To send emails in the customer's preferred language or based on their address regions, you can collect this information during the signup process or through preferences settings in your email marketing platform.
  2. Customer Segmentation: Segmenting your customer base allows you to send targeted content based on specific criteria such as demographics, purchase history, or engagement level.
  3. Message Scheduling: Many email marketing platforms provide options to delay notifications between messages or specify a specific time range for message delivery. This allows you to control the timing of your email communications to ensure they reach recipients at the most appropriate time.

Product Recommendation

Product Recommendation

Including recommended products in the email can be achieved by leveraging customer data and implementing recommendation algorithms. Based on their purchase history, browsing behavior, or similar customers' preferences, you can suggest relevant products that might interest each individual.

SMS Notification

SMS notifications provide quick and direct communication, instantly notifying customers about shipment updates. They generally have higher open rates compared to emails, ensuring that the information reaches the customer promptly.

There are two options for sending SMS messages.

  • Built-in SMS Sender: The built-in SMS sender allows you to send text messages directly from the platform you're using.
  • Dedicated SMS Sender: A dedicated SMS sender provides the flexibility to send messages with your own branding identity, creating a more personalized experience for your customers.

Content Editing

  • SMS Templates: SMS templates are pre-written message templates that you can use to quickly send out SMS notifications. These templates save time and ensure consistency in your messaging.
  • Customized SMS Notifications: If you want to go a step further and match the SMS notifications to your brand's voice and style, you can customize the templates. This customization option allows you to edit existing templates or create new ones to ensure that your messages resonate with your brand identity. By tailoring the content of your SMS notifications, you can enhance the customer experience and strengthen your brand presence.

SMS Personalization

SMS personalization is a strategy that involves tailoring text messages to individual recipients, making them more relevant and engaging. By personalizing SMS content, businesses can create a more personalized and targeted experience for their customers. In addition to the different information content of different triggers, there are some other personal settings you can consider:

  1. Dynamic Variables: Utilizing dynamic variables allows for automated insertion of customer-specific details into the SMS. For example, incorporating a variable that automatically includes the recipient's name or a unique offer code can make the message feel more personal.
  2. Segmentation: Segmenting your audience based on specific criteria such as demographics, preferences, or purchase behavior enables you to send targeted messages to different groups. This ensures that each recipient receives content that is most relevant to them.

3rd-Party Notification Platform

Integrating with a third-party notification platform, such as Klaviyo or Mailchimp, can be a convenient choice for sending notifications. These platforms offer advanced features and customization options for managing email campaigns and notifications.

Notification Platforms

One of the advantages of integrating with a platform like Klaviyo is that if you are already using it for your email marketing needs, you don't need to set up separate email shipments in your software. You can utilize your existing templates and workflows within the system for sending notifications, which simplifies the process and maintains consistency across your communications.

Additionally, these platforms often provide analytics and tracking capabilities, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your notifications and make data-driven decisions for optimization.

If you’re not using a third-party notification system, consider using some full-featured shipment software to help your business. Here are some shipping software that have great reviews:

AfterShip

AfterShip is a shipment software that provides excellent notification features for tracking packages and keeping customers informed about their deliveries. It offers multiple communication channels such as email, SMS, and Facebook Messenger to send notifications to customers.

With AfterShip, you have access to a wide range of delivery statuses, including 7 main statuses and 33 sub-statuses, each with corresponding email templates. One notable feature of AfterShip is its visualized & HTML email editor, which enables you to customize email templates according to your branding and preferences. The built-in SMS sender comes with pre-written templates, making it convenient to send text notifications to your customers.

Additionally, AfterShip offers advanced notification rules that allow you to create personalized email workflows and tailor the communication based on your customers' preferences.

AfterShip Personalized Email Workflows

Parcel Panel

Parcel Panel is another shipment software that offers outstanding email notification features. It provides 6 delivery status triggers with pre-built email templates.

Additionally, it supports English and full translation into other published languages, making it adaptable depending on the country. Parcel Panel also allows for customization of the email sender, providing a personalized touch to the notifications.

Narvar

Narvar is a customer engagement platform that provides businesses with tools for managing post-purchase experiences. It offers various features, including email and WhatsApp notifications, as well as 14 notification triggers and pre-built email templates.

This platform enables businesses to keep their customers informed about the status of their orders, provide updates on delivery dates, and send personalized messages throughout the post-purchase journey. Narvar aims to enhance the customer experience by improving communication and building trust between businesses and their customers.

Conclusion

If you are looking to learn more about shipment notification or if your business is experiencing specific notification issues and needs, we are here to help.

Book a demo now!