The anatomy of an e-commerce track and trace email

By Paazl
November 6, 2018

E-commerce professionals know that communication between the online store and the customer does not end when they click ‘Buy Now’. The modern consumer demands transparency throughout the whole delivery journey. That means proactive track and trace updates. But what makes a good track and trace notification? And what should a track and trace email include? The most common track and trace notification comes in the form of an email. So, we dissected two track and trace emails and identified two examples of best practices and two areas for improvement for both.

Track and trace email: Massimo Dutti

Best practices

Delivery Timeline

As soon as we opened the email our eye was drawn to Massimo Dutti’s delivery timeline. In addition to visually displaying at what point on the delivery journey the parcel is, it pretty much tells us everything we need to know. Very effective!

Link to delivery tracking

The purpose of the track and trace notification is to provide an update as to what stage of delivery the item is at. A must-have feature of a track and trace email is a link to further tracking information so the customer can pin point exactly where their order is.

Areas for improvement

Personalise the email

Is it just us or is addressing an email to ‘customer’ just a tad impersonal? Show your customers just how much you appreciate their custom by referring to them by their name.

Estimated delivery date

Our pet peeve when it comes to conveying delivery information is when brands state the shipping time and not the shipping date. Stating the delivery date is a far more user-friendly way of conveying this information because it doesn’t rely on the customer to calculate the date, especially when they need to take into account working days and public holidays.

Track and trace email: DECIEM

Best practices

Maintains brand’s look and feel

DECIEM send out track and trace emails which are in-keeping with their brand style. From the font to the eye-catching colour, icons and imagery, all DECIEM communications are right on brand.

Personalised email

Unlike Massimo Dutti, DECIEM address their customers by name, adding a personal touch to their track and trace emails.

Areas for improvement

Order tracking on own website

It appears that DECIEM do not have order tracking enabled on their website as they send their customers to the carrier website to track their order. Best practice is when customers can track their order on the brand’s website. And you never know, once they are back on your site they could be tempted by one of your other products.

Provide estimated delivery time

The information in this email is lacking quite a lot and one crucial piece of information that is missing is when the item will actually be arriving.


The purpose of a track and trace email is to notify customers on the whereabouts of their order. They should answer all the likely initial questions that their customer will have, such as at what stage their order is at, when their is likely to arrive and where can they find further information. If a track and trace email answers all of these questions whilst maintaining the brand’s look and feel, we say they are on to a winner.

Looking for more inspiration?

Check out our latest whitepaper. We assess 25 e-commerce fashion brands on the quality of their in-checkout delivery information.

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