The retail giant holds high expectations for sellers. Amazon seeks that all brands provide positive experiences in the marketplace. That’s why it’s created such performance metrics as Valid Tracking Rate.
A high seller rating is crucial to succeed in Amazon. It tells customers you can manage your stock, handle shipments and on-time deliveries.
Keeping a good Valid Tracking Rate is crucial to get a positive seller rating. And it’s also essential to deliver a great customer experience.
This guide will show you how to improve your Valid Tracking Rate, and how to avoid falling below Amazon’s expectations.
What is Valid Tracking Rate?
Customers rely on valid tracking numbers (VTN) to know where their orders are, and when they will receive them.
Proper VTNs must meet the following criteria:
- Correct name of the delivery carrier
- Specific delivery service used in all seller fulfilled orders
- Tracking ID for seller fulfilled orders shipped with a tracking system
Tracking numbers are considered valid after they’re scanned by a courier. This is done to confirm the parcel is in transit.
Sellers then measure VTNs effectiveness using the Valid Tracking Rate (VTR).
To review your VTR, go to Seller Central and select the Performance menu. From here, go to Account Health and locate the Shipping Performance section. Then, click on view details to see your valid VTR.
Sellers must keep a Valid Tracking Rate above 95 percent. A lower VTR could lead to the following scenarios:
- Decreased potential to sell non-FBA products.
- Losing eligibility for Premium Shipping and guaranteed delivery.
- Product listing or seller account suspension.
2021 VTR Updates
Recently, Amazon implemented changes to the Tracking Number Validation:
Beginning May 3, 2021, Amazon will validate tracking details (including carrier name and tracking ID) for all merchant-fulfilled packages and show warnings for invalid tracking details. However, this change will not apply to items excluded from the VTR calculation.
When confirming a shipment, provide the following:
- Carrier’s name
- Delivery service used for all seller fulfilled orders
- Tracking ID for seller fulfilled orders shipped with a tracking method
Source: Seller Central
How to Calculate VTR
Amazon divides your total shipments with a VTN by the shipped and confirmed parcels over a 30-day period.
The marketplace also reviews promised delivery date to select the orders to include in the metric.
Let’s say you confirmed 200 non-excepted shipments in the last month. However, only 190 of those parcels had a VTN.
Amazon then divides 190 by 200, which totals .95. Therefore, your Valid Tracking Rate is 95%.
Note that the following items are not included in the calculation:
- Heavy and Bulky parcels delivered by carriers not integrated with Amazon.
- Small and Flat packages costing less than $10 and shipped in USPS Standard Mail envelopes, or First-Class Mail envelopes.
- Digital products.
Why Valid Tracking Rate Matters?
Successful brands deliver great customer experience. When a seller invests in the consumer, they have a chance to turn them into followers.
Customer experience is the interaction a user has with your store, end-to end. So, the more you invest in your consumers’ journeys, the better.
Many customers abandon their purchases because sellers are not transparent about their shipping practices.
VTR ensures you involve consumers in the shipping process.
By offering accurate tracking, cost and delivery estimates, customers can see their order delivery status in real time.
How to Improve your Valid Tracking Rate In No Time
A positive Valid Tracking Rate is essential to customer experience. Remember, the more you invest in your consumers’ journeys, the better you’ll sell!
Plus, including Valid Tracking Numbers to all parcels has the following perks:
- Decreased Order Defect Rate
- A-to-Z guarantee claim protection
- Improved seller feedback rate
- Locate lost shipments
- Boost customer conversion
If you want to earn these benefits, we’ve prepared some best practices to make sure that you upload accurate VTR data.
Related content: Amazon Manufacturer Part Number: What Is It For?
Edit Tracking Information
First, submit your order’s tracking information before delivery dates. Here’s how to do it:
Go to the Orders dashboard in Seller Central. Here, select Manage Orders. Then check that Order ID is selected for search to locate specific parcels.
When you find an order, click on Edit Shipment. Here you can provide all the revised tracking data.
Once you’re done, click Re-confirm the shipment. Now, wait 72 hours to review the changes you made.
Verify Your Tracking Numbers
First off, confirm that no tracking information is left blank. Also ensure that the submitted tracking ID is correct.
Watch out for special characters that the system can’t recognize. That could mean the tracking ID is misspelled.
Errors in the previous steps will mark the tracking ID as invalid. This means it won’t count to boost your Valid Tracking Rate.
Verify Carrier Data
Check that you selected a carrier in Manage Orders, and bulk uploaded feeds. Also ensure you submitted the correct carrier name and shipping service.
Verify the carrier matches the tracking number. Any error in the carrier’s name, or a VTN mismatch, and Amazon will mark the tracking as invalid.
Work with Amazon integrated carriers, who provide real-time tracking status to Amazon. Here’s a partial list of the carriers to choose from:
|Best Buy||FedEx||RL Carriers|
|DHL||First Flight Couriers||UPS|
|Estes US||Pilot Freight US||USPS|
You can review the full integrated carrier list in Seller Central.
Note: Sellers using non-integrated carriers can buy tracked shipping labels from Amazon. This will allow them to track packages and boost their VTR.
Confirm and Update Dispatches
Always confirm and update your tracking information before delivering parcels. Doing so after a delivery means that the customer couldn’t track the package. So, the order won’t influence your Valid Tracking Rate.
To sum up, here’s what you need to keep a healthy Valid Tracking Rate:
- Acquire valid shipping labels from Amazon.
- Select Amazon integrated carriers to fulfill orders.
- Make sure VTNs have the correct tracking ID and carrier’s name.
- Confirm the tracking information before delivery.
Account metrics like Valid Tracking Rate are not just guidelines to remain in Amazon’s good graces.
Your VTR score tells the retail giant if you are a customer-oriented brand. And Amazon will act if it sees it otherwise.
The worst-case scenario is account suspension. Should this happen, devise a plan of action and make improvements before appealing to Amazon.
Prove that you can upscale your VTR performance, and success will follow. Positive metrics will boost customer service, conversions and profits.
Esteban Muñoz is an SEO copywriter at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.