TikTok Shop is the newest addition to the e-commerce marketplaces that have abounded in recent years. With TikTok’s innovative interface, it brings about a game-changing addition to the online selling platforms that we have today. With over a billion users, TikTok successfully merges entertainment and commerce, being one of the most popular short-form video streaming platforms, and now with an integrated feature to check out, buy and ship the most favorite products right at your customers’ doorsteps! It brings the trend #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt to a whole new level.
Now, with the vast number of subscribers, users and sellers already signed up for TikTok Shop, but since the Shop is in its infancy, we must be extra careful in handling orders so we can ensure that the most satisfactory shopping and shipping experience is received by our dear TikTok customers. Order tracking processes are an integral part of ensuring swift, safe, and satisfactory delivery. TikTok Shop has policies and systems in place for you to know how you can achieve delivery success.
Knowing where your shipments are gives you a great advantage in customer service because the information can propel you to be more responsive, and to apply the best solutions in case they come. And of course, in the long run, fool-proofing your delivery processes so you can handle larger volumes while bringing down errors and problems to little or zero.
In our discussion here, we will also let you into a secret – the logistics engine. The logistics engine can be your handy tool to assist you in fulfilling orders to a level that you might never have imagined before while saving up time, effort, and money that you can reallocate to plans for propelling your business to greater heights!
Steps in Order Tracking on your TikTok Shop
Order tracking is no easy task. It requires several steps, wherein you must be hands-on to prevent major problems from arising. As soon as you receive the order, order tracking begins. Your final goal, ultimately, is to ensure that your valued product reaches the doors of your very loyal customers.
Confirm the order
In confirming orders, sellers must always keep in mind that the item is in stock. Or else, we are going to face extra work explaining to customers that we can’t sell them the item they want. That looks bad for you especially when you’re starting out. And mind you, you’d have to go through the official TikTok order cancellation process in case that happens. So, it’s best if you can keep a real-time inventory of your products (you can make use of free online tools, or partner with a logistics engine provider) so you can just breeze through confirming the orders. Once you confirm, you’re basically telling the customer that you have the product, and it is on its way to them.
Pack and package your orders
Packing and packaging are crucial steps in TikTok Shop order fulfillment because how you pack decides what the first impression on your customer will be. If their parcels are damaged or crumpled, the chances that they will order again from your shop are way less than when they receive their packages in pristine condition.
Some perennial tips when it comes to packaging, though:
- Make sure the packaging corresponds with the item size. This ensures less damage to your parcels. Sometimes when it’s too big, the item could break. And when it’s too small, the package can pop out. We don’t want either.
- Mark items that are delicate and require special handling. If possible, indicate how the packages should be handled to guide logistics carriers.
- Do not include any illegal and prohibited content such as soliciting messages for positive reviews, threats, and others.
- If needed, mostly for the more delicate items, consider multi-layered packaging such as enclosing the package in boxes and cartons for optimum protection.
Just a note though, prepare yourself for return-shipping processes in the unfortunate case that the product suffers damage which the customer finds out after receiving it. This is tedious, but a masterful handling of such situations can help boost your reputation and increase your customers’ trust in the brand.
Label TikTok Shop packages correctly
Labeling packages correctly will save you a lot of time and effort. It will also put you in a stronger position to be able to monitor whether your packages are delivered to the right person and location. When you have a clear system of the name, address, item, and order number, you can be more responsive to customer queries. Mind you, they love it when you are knowledgeable about their orders because it gives them a feeling of the seller’s personal concern towards their shopping experience.
However, beware of some prohibitions in the aspect of shipping labels that surround TikTok Shop fulfillment. Shipping labels must not include hyperlinks, QR codes, contact information from other platforms, or information that is irrelevant to the order. To avoid your packages being discarded or lost, ensure that all of them are properly labeled with all the necessary information. In the case that negligence is proven coming from your side, you have no choice but to shoulder the expenses and the hassle of delivery failure and return shipping.
Hand the packages to the carrier
Handing the packages to the logistics carrier is naturally the next step. Once you hand it to the carrier, you will have to entrust it to the 3PL provider so in doing this, you must make sure that you deal with a reputable partner who has high trust ratings among businesses and customers alike. We don’t want our partners to be irresponsible and unresponsive to the issues that may arise in transit.
In the TikTok Shop fulfillment process, you can choose between two options: Ship by Seller and Ship by TikTok. The moment you choose Ship by Seller, that means you will do order fulfillment (that is, picking and packing) and dispatch your orders to the 3PL provider of your choice. Once handed over, you need to go to your TikTok Seller Center and update the status of the orders as Shipped. Pretty tedious, you would say, but it works best if you have already built a good relationship with a 3PL provider and would like to diversify your customers’ shipping options.
Should you opt to deliver orders via TikTok’s logistics machinery, you would have to choose between two modes of handling to the carrier – Pick Up and Drop Off. The major difference between the two is that with Pick Up, you will get notified once TikTok fetches your products from your designated location, and with Drop Off, you need to bring your products to a TikTok Shop designated drop-off point. Within 48 hours, you should update your Order Status to Shipped once the items are collected.
For both shipping types, you must ensure that the package is collected in a timely manner and that within 120 hours, the Order Status is updated. When handing it to the carrier, it is the seller’s responsibility that the items are handed in good condition, and to the correct carrier (we don’t want mix-ups!). Before leaving, make sure all packages are intact. It’s best to take photos of your packages so you would have proof of activity later in case the need arises.
Check delivery status
Once handed to the carrier, the 3PL provider will oversee your item. Be sure to check occasionally on the delivery status of your products. Once it reaches the intended person and location, your delivery will be marked in its final stage as Delivered.
There are some differences according to shipping type. When you use Ship by Seller, the TikTok Seller Center will utilize data from your third-party provider to track your orders, and finally mark them as Delivered. Make sure you take the necessary steps to set up linking and integrating your 3PL provider’s system to your TikTok Shop, or vice versa. For Ship by TikTok, TikTok’s partner carrier will update the delivery status to Delivered after the delivery person obtains the recipient’s signature in the acknowledgment receipt.
For the delivery timeline, there are some varying lengths depending on the shipping type that you choose. For Ship by Seller, TikTok recommends crafting a contract with your chosen carrier as this will provide security for both sides. Auditing whether your logistics needs are satisfied will ultimately be up to you, though.
Some notes, though:
- If the carrier fails to ship your product twice, the item is deemed lost.
- If the intended recipient fails to acknowledge receipt after 12 days of order creation, the package is deemed lost.
- In case of abnormal delivery (that is, damage, delay, or loss), the TikTok Seller Center may cancel the order and notify customers to request a refund.
It gets a little more streamlined when you choose Ship by TikTok, on the other hand. You get a more comprehensive and integrated information page via the Manage Orders panel of your TikTok Seller Center. In case the carrier fails to deliver the package within the designated delivery period, the package will be marked Delayed. Same as Ship by Seller, TikTok will cancel the order and advise customers to request a refund in case of abnormal delivery.
Take note also that Orders who have been placed but have not been marked with a Tracking Status Update will be automatically canceled by the TikTok system after 15 days of order placement. If the customer paid beforehand, their payment will be refunded at once. Don’t worry though, before TikTok employs this measure, you will get a daily reminder to update your tracking status updates. Hehe, you won’t have any excuses if that happens!
Some other things to remember
We know you won’t do these things, but in case someone needs a reminder, you must not, at all costs, ship something of fraudulent nature, or a potential hazard to the recipient. Any attempt or act of doing this will be subject to TikTok’s policies and regulations which can lead to revocation of seller privileges, and in some cases, prosecution under applicable state laws. So don’t even think about it.
Some of the prohibited and punishable acts include shipping empty packages, shipping an incomplete number of items, forging information on the shipping labels, and other uses of inaccurate information. Don’t even try, because TikTok has set up a complaint module for customers’ safety so you will be reported for sure if you engage in these.
And just a friendly reminder, in case of a force majeure such as a natural or man-made disaster, you would have to inform the TikTok Seller Center through a ticket that your shipments will suffer delays so they can properly relay it to the buyers.
Go hassle-free with a logistics engine
Overwhelming? Yes, we know. That’s why as we stride towards greater heights and advancement in the age of digital marketing and e-commerce, a new concept and system was born – the logistics engine. It is the convergence of groundbreakingly integrated software along with a strategically spread-out network of warehouses, fulfillment centers and partnerships with the most reputable 3PL providers to provide sellers with a hassle-free fulfillment and logistics tool.
With a logistics engine like Locad, you can sit on your thinking chair and put in your time to strategize how you can upscale and boost your business while a horde of fulfillment professionals and experts handle the tedious work for you. Better yet, you get an integrated sales management hub that lets you track orders in real time wherever they may be in one of Locad’s certified locations across the globe.
Locad is an intelligent system that ships from the nearest warehouse to the location of your customer. It drastically cuts shipping time by finding the appropriate warehouse and 3PL provider. You can just sit pretty, or be that OC manager and get concrete, real-time information right at your computer monitor. What are you waiting for, contact a logistics engine services agent now!