Order notifications (also known as shipping updates) specify the location of a shipment while it progresses toward the final delivery date. It is a proactive way of keeping customers informed about their order status and an even better tool for post-purchase customer satisfaction.
Did you know that an estimated 76% of online shoppers refuse to repeat a purchase with an eCommerce business for poor customer experience? This is why most, if not all, eCommerce retailers make it a point to extend order notifications to customers to reduce WISMO (‘where is my order’) calls.
Fortunately, there are quite a few communication mediums available to support their endeavor, from SMS to email. But nothing beats the efficacy and convenience of the rising business messaging star WhatsApp. If you are curious to know how to get WhatsApp for eCommerce businesses, then read ahead without further ado!
The Rise of WhatsApp for eCommerce Order Updates
Since the 2019 Covid lockdown, we have witnessed the true power of digital transformation, from proliferating eCommerce stores to a rise in messaging. With people shut inside their homes, there was a real need for personal connection. And WhatsApp became the primary choice for 2 billion people to revive that missing personal touch on mobile phones.
This trend seems to be ingrained in people now. At least 75% of Indian mobile users, 86% of Brazilians, and 61% of US consumers are open to experiencing the same personal interaction with businesses. This is why we are seeing a leapfrogging growth in business messaging, with WhatsApp taking the lead in conversational commerce.
There are multiple advantages that Meta’s WhatsApp Business (launched in 2018) offers eCommerce businesses. For example, the ‘click to message’ initiative allows consumers to interact directly with businesses on WhatsApp when they click a Facebook or Instagram ad. There are now over 50 million business owners using WhatsApp to enable sales and customer support.
List of 6 Types of Order Updates WhatsApp Sends to Customers
As hinted above, order updates are notifications you send to customers informing them about their order arrival, preferably at every milestone it reaches. Here we describe the most commonly contextualized order updates milestones:
1. Order Confirmation
With this notification, you can inform customers that their order has been successfully received and will be in motion to reach their address.
2. Order Dispatch
Whenever your supplier or 3PL has completed picking, packing, and handing the package to couriers, you can extend this information to customers with an order dispatched message.
3. Shipping Confirmation
This update notifies shoppers that their order is in transit with a carrier. Hence, it signals the start of the shipment journey.
4. Shipping Exceptions
Shipping exceptions such as delays are not uncommon for many customers. So, relaying this information is critical to keep them informed of delays.
5. Out for Delivery
This message is typically sent in the wee hours of the morning, suggesting that customers remain available to receive the order when it arrives at their doorsteps.
6. Delivery Successful
This is a confirmation text that informs customers that the parcel has been delivered and received.
How can eCommerce Businesses Setup WhatsApp to Offer Order Updates?
Here are the steps you need to follow in order to set up a workflow for notifying customers of order updates on WhatsApp:
1) Create a WhatsApp Business Account
The first step is to open a WhatsApp Business account. You can download it from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Then state your business phone number and country. It can’t be a universal number, toll-free, or paid premium, as WhatsApp will verify the verification code.
After this, you can create your business profile that records your business name, category, address, business hours, and description. All these details will help you establish credibility and build trust with users. More importantly, you can share your emails, Facebook or Instagram ID, and website.
WhatsApp Business links with your Facebook so that your recent posts are displayed on your WhatsApp profile. This additionally helps you promote your content or announce to your community any unexpected delays in a region.
2) Select a Third-Party WhatsApp API SaaS Provider
Large and medium businesses usually opt for WhatsApp Business API, which allows them to handle a high volume of customer requests. Since the API does not have a front-end interface, unlike the app, you will need to partner with a SaaS provider that offers WhatsApp API integration.
It is easier to get the API connection from a shipping solution provider so that it can handle the integration, track your orders’ locations, and update customers simultaneously. Moreover, outsourcing it to your logistics technology partner can help reduce overhead costs when clubbed together in a pricing tier.
3) Make Order Updates Templates
Once you have all your assets in place, you can start working on creating the best order updates template. The aim is to craft a message that is conversational, informative, and has a sales element that touches your customer’s shopping tick.
Since order updates are critical to delivering an optimal post-purchase experience, the messages should be crafted with serious consideration. Here are four elements you can include while drafting your message.
- Your customer’s name to help personalize the message.
- The state of your order and which milestone is reached.
- Estimated date and time of arrival.
- An upsell message or a call to action such as ‘check out similar products’ or ‘you may also like.
4) Initiate WhatsApp Push Notification
Depending on your customer base, opt-in subscribers, and business need, you can send 1:1 notifications or bulk ones with the Broadcast feature. Both options cater to the basic responsibilities of delivering order notifications. However, there are more chances to personalize and add dynamic comments with 1:1 messaging than broadcasting.
The best way forward to streamline sending customers an order notification is to automate the process with your WhatsApp API provider. Order updates will be automatically generated once the tracking information is available to your API partner.
To use the broadcast feature, you can first create a channel with customer contacts opting to receive notifications. Then sync your message template to be sent at regular intervals to customers via your SaaS provider. While this feature works well for marketing promotions, we recommend using 1:1 push notifications for order updates.
5) Send Notifications With Messages API
WhatsApp allows two forms of communication, either you reach out to customers or respond to customer-generated messages. The Messages API solution falls into the latter category. Here you send order updates to customers when they specifically enquire about it on the chat.
The benefit of using WhatsApp’s Messages API is real-time communication. When your chatbot detects an event on the chat, it responds with your pre-reserved message template with that information. You can add personalization features such as customer name or phone number when sending notifications.
Alternatively, your customer support team can manually notify customers of order updates from their CRM software. This is an added benefit as WhatsApp APIs easily integrate with many known CRM platforms.
Top 5 Key Reasons to Use WhatsApp for Order Updates Notifications
WhatsApp has truly emerged as the foremost medium of messaging and conversations in the past decade. Many eCommerce companies are solely comfortable using SMS or emails for order notifications, so they miss out on the chances of exploring it with WhatsApp. So we list here a couple of reasons why you can consider adding WhatsApp to your business:
1) Real-Time Message Delivery
WhatsApp messages have an astounding rate of click-through rate success, reaching almost 98%, while email notifications hover around 30%. Moreover, WhatsApp messages reach customers as soon as you send them, making it a real-time communication process. There is very little chance of the message not being sent or getting lost in transmission.
2) Easy Setup Procedure
Setting up a WhatsApp Business account and even an API structure is easy and convenient. You only require a valid phone number to open your account. To access API, you will need a Facebook Business Manager account and a third-party solution if you wish to outsource the integration process. Moreover, the process of transferring your business contacts and data to WhatsApp’s Business account takes only a click.
3) Automated Messaging
WhatsApp has ample avenues for automating conversations, first with its native chatbot. Second, you can use canned messages or quick replies to seamlessly interact with customers when they message you. Third, you can set automation rules and timing with your SaaS agent.
4) Price Benefits
WhatsApp is a business-friendly solution that allows the first 1000 messages you send customers each month as free. Moreover, their rates are based on 24-hour sessions instead of the message count. Moreover, if your customers discover or interact with you from a WhatsApp or Facebook ad, WhatsApp marks that conversation as free.
5) Global Reach
WhatsApp is present in over 100 countries like the U.S., India, Nigeria, Australia, Kenya, Argentina, Indonesia, Russia, and Mexico. Interestingly, it is African and Asian countries as its biggest market. This means you can acquire and interact with a sizable proportion of Asian and African consumers, alongside Oceania as your customers.
5 Best Practices for Excellent Customer Experience with Order Status Notifications
Here is a list of tips and tricks that you can use to add finesse to your post-purchase customer experience with order notifications:
1) Open Two-Way Messaging
WhatsApp is a synchronous messaging model, which means customers have the chance to interact with you on their chats. So, it's important that you be present or have a chatbot to answer queries or respond to messages at all times.
2) Send Tracking Link
Order notification messages seem incomplete without the tracking URL, so adding them will enhance customers' perception. Moreover, by adding the URL, you can redirect them to your tracking page and display product recommendations for cross-selling.
3) Collect Feedback on Order Delivery
Collecting feedback from customers will not only let them know you value their opinion but also give you an insight into carrier performance. You can send them customer surveys and analyze the data to improve customer experience with deliveries.
4) Establish Messaging Sequence for Returns/Exchanges
Alongside sending order notifications, you can also set a similar sequence for returns or exchange orders. This will ensure that customers who return orders are also in the loop about pick time, delivery, and refund details.
5) Use Multimedia
It is an established fact that mobile users have a special fondness for multimedia. You can make conversations engaging using WhatsApp’s rich library of multimedia formats like audio, video, image, PDFs, emojis, GIFs, and location sharing.
How ClickPost Helps eCommerce Businesses with Order Updates on WhatsApp?
ClickPost is a multi-carrier shipping platform. It is proficient in integrated order tracking, updating order notifications, integrating with over 300 carriers, and handling returns.
It uses pull and push API to access carrier notifications on updates as well as webhooks for real-time order tracking. By integrating with ClickPost, you can send WhatsApp notifications as soon as it receives them over to your customers.
Moreover, you can enable and disable shipment notifications according to any customer request. Additionally, ClickPost helps you reduce shipping exceptions, automate Shopify returns, and improve shipping stats and delivery success rates.
eCommerce retailers are always looking to refine customer support to boost customer satisfaction. And a fool-proof way to score points in that arena is with WhatsApp order notifications. Retailers can greatly benefit from using WhatsApp to extend intelligently crafted messages and two-way communication channels.
1) How to use WhatsApp notifications to Boost sales?
You can add call-to-action text to your notifications to bring customers to your webpage. Moreover, you can also add additional products to your chat for upselling.
2) What are the advantages of using WhatsApp Business API?
The WhatsApp Business API allows companies to interact with a considerable number of customers, over 10,000. Moreover, it enables them to create ads, marketing promotions, and display product recommendations.