WooCommerce Shipment Tracking using UPS Shipping Plugin
In this article, we will explore the shipment tracking features offered by the WooCommerce UPS Shipping Plugin and see how it can help your WooCommerce business. Read below to know more.
While delivering orders to the customers, the store owner has to keep a lot of things in mind. Easy shipping and proper shipment tracking are among the most important aspects of online shipping.
Being a WooCommerce store owner, you might as well have to worry about your customer’s order delivery. Hence, this article will focus on WooCommerce shipment tracking using WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin. It will help you understand how you can generate a Tracking ID and find the delivery status, directly from UPS.
But before that let’s take a look at some tracking options provided by UPS.
UPS Shipment Tracking Options
Normally, UPS provides the following tracking options on its official website:
- Tracking Number based tracking
- Reference Number based tracking
- Email based tracking
A tracking number is a unique number which UPS assigns its packages automatically. UPS uses these numbers to track and identify the shipments as these shipments move through the UPS system and towards their destination. UPS tracking numbers appear in the following formats:
The Shipment Reference number is an identifier which can be a purchase order number, a customer number, company name, bill of the landing number or a phrase that identifies the shipment, such as “10 crates” or “gift”.
The shipment reference can be a combination of numbers and letters up to 35 characters. UPS uses these references to identify and track shipments as they move through the UPS system until they are delivered to the customers. This option contains the following data fields that you need to enter:
- Shipment type
This can be of three types, namely, Freight, Package, and Mail Innovations.
- Shipment Reference
The shipment reference number.
- Shipment Date Range
The date of order placement and the possible date of delivery.
- Shipper’s Account Number
The account number of the shipper
The country where the shipment is going, along with the ZIP code.
For tracking a single order, you just have to send the tracking number as Subject of the email. UPS will send a detailed response to the same email ID. And for multiple shipments, you can send all the tracking numbers in the body of the email. UPS will send a detailed response to your email ID. One thing worth noticing is that this option is not available for Freight shipments.
The WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin provides shipment tracking based on the UPS Tracking Number. Now let’s consider a business scenario to understand how you can use this plugin to track your shipments.
Joshua is the owner of a North Carolina based Online Electronics Store. He delivers electronic appliances to his customers across the US and some parts of Canada and Mexico. Being popular in that region, Joshua had chosen UPS Shipping to go along with his customer’s demands.
Since most of the products Joshua ships directly from his warehouse in Hickory, he needed a way to get a tracking number, preferably within his online store. This will enable Joshua to track the shipment’s movement throughout the delivery. Plus, his customers could also have tracking details based on their preference or business needs.
Let us see how he managed to configure WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin to fulfill his business need for tracking shipments.
WooCommerce Shipment Tracking using UPS Shipping plugin
Before going for any other configuration, you need to first enable shipment tracking from the plugin settings. Here is a screenshot of the settings:
UPS Shipping plugin has three options for shipment tracking:
This option will enable tracking for both customers as well as the store owner.
This option will disable tracking for both customers as well as the store owner.
- Disable for Customers
This option will only disable tracking for customers. Store owners will be able to generate a tracking ID and track the shipment.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you will only get the shipping status of the shipment when you will enter valid UPS Account credentials in the settings. The below screenshot shows where you have to enter the credentials:
Now since all the settings are configured, let’s see what happens when Joshua gets an order. The customer ordered a Triple Door Refrigerator weighing roughly 650 lbs which he wants to be delivered to Baltimore, Maryland.
As you can see, the freight shipping options are shown to the customer as the weight of the product exceeds the limit of 150 lbs. After calculating the shipping cost the customer will place the order. Here is the order confirmation:
Also, as far as the store owner is concerned, he will be shown the shipping label as well as the tracking ID of the order. The following screenshot shows the label as well as tracking ID generation directly within the WooCommerce store:
As shown in the image, you can directly click the tracking number if you want to see the order tracking details. Alternatively, you can copy the tracking number and paste it in the option shown in the below screenshot, to get the updated shipment tracking.
Once the tracking number is generated, you can track it by any of the above-mentioned methods. In any case, you will be redirected to the official UPS Tracking page along with the tracking number generated in the above steps. There you can see the shipment tracking with the date of delivery and many other options such as the shipment container number, etc.
The following image will show the tracking details in the case of Joshua:
Sending Tracking Details to customers
Now, once the tracking number is generated, WooCommerce store owners can easily track their shipments. However, the real question still remains, “How will the customers be able to track their orders..?” Ideally, the customers would contact the store owners or the support team to know where the status of their delivery.
Or, they can get the tracking ID by contacting the store and track it themselves. However, this is a very time-consuming process for both the store owners as well as the customers.
Using WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin, the store owners will be able to send the tracking details to their customers via Email. Just select the Enable option in the Shipment Tracking, as shown in the image below.
The plugin automatically attaches the tracking ID along with the link, to the order completion email as soon as the order is marked Complete. The image below shows the order completion email with the tracking details from UPS.
This is how WooCommerce store owners can use WooCommerce UPS Shipping plugin to generate the UPS Tracking number within the online store and then track the shipments. The plugin gets all the details from the official UPS servers. Hence, you will never miss the chance to know the status of your shipment.