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How to Keep Track of Orders for Small Business

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Regardless of the business you are managing, it is important that you keep track of all transactions so you will know whether or not your business is doing well. In any business, orders are considered as a critical resource.  Here is how you can effectively monitor your orders.

How To Keep Track Of Your Orders?

If you always find yourself organizing orders using a notebook or sticky notes, now is the time to keep order tracking streamlined and automated by utilizing free order management software. In some cases, depending on your line of business, order tracking might not seem like a necessity until you receive bulk orders. If you stick to manual tracking, not only will the task be time consuming but labor intensive as well. 

You do not have to be savvy to keep track of your orders because implementing an order management system or software management tracker is not rocket science. Here are the simple steps:

Step 1. First, you need to go to Google Forms, so you can set up an online form that you can access anytime you wish. You have to make sure that you have a Gmail account as it is required when creating a form. Setting an email account with Gmail is absolutely free. 

Once you are done creating a Gmail account, the next step is to create a form from scratch. You can modify the fields depending on your preference. 

Step 2. At the very top of the form, add the name. You have to be as detailed as possible so your customers will have an idea what is going to happen next. They have to know whether they are going to make a payment first or they have to wait for you to send an invoice. You will also have to explain your turnaround time whether it is sending the invoice or posting the payment. 

Step 3. The form also contains a block with a slide bar. This section gives you an idea about the information you should collect. Most forms will ask you to supply the following: 

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Preferred method of contact (call/text/email) 
  • Item 
  • Quantity

You can always add as many sections as you like depending on the information you want to gather. 

Step 4. Once you have added all the necessary fields, the next thing you should do is to go to the second tab where you will see Responses. Keep in mind that you will not see responses on this tab yet as you need to set it up first and integrate it into Google spreadsheet where responses will reflect.

Step 5. You have to create a new spreadsheet for the previous step. Once the spreadsheet opens, the information you have collected will also appear. The spreadsheet will be your main tool for tracking your orders. As for the customer’s side, the order request will look exactly like the order form.

You can get notified when someone places an order by clicking on Tools from Google spreadsheet, then Notification rules. There is also an option to share the order form with your customers. Once you have set up the sheet, you can go back to the Order Form and get the link then click Send.

Other than Google form, you can also use the following order tracking tools:

1. Shippo

Shippo allows business owners to fulfill orders, search for the best shipping rates and create tracking updates. This software supports WooCommerce and Magenton. It is also compatible with marketplace platforms like Etsy, Mercari, Etsy, eBay and Amazon, especially those who own Amazon Dividend.

This software allows you to brand email and send shipping updates to customers. You can also create personalized tracking pages for your website. Shippo also offers a 30-day free trial so you can gauge if this order tracking software is what you need.

2. YITH WooCommerce Order Tracking

This order tracking tool can be installed as a WordPress plugin. It supports WooCommerce platform and can include the tracking links to the email messages you send to your customers. The tracking data also has auto-fill capability to spare customers from copying and pasting tracking codes or order numbers.

This tool has a free version, but if you want to upgrade your access, you can always try the paid version.

3. YITH WooCommerce SMS Notifications

If your customers prefer to get a text message for their orders, this is the suitable tool they can use. It works like the order tracking plugin and is also compatible with WooCommerce. Your customers will stay updated of their delivery status through text-message. If you want to manually send the texts to each customer, you can also install the plugin.

4.  Status and Order Tracking

Customers and customer service representatives can easily track delivery status. This WordPress plugin can be installed in WooCommerce and if you want to integrate it with Zendesk, there is an option to upgrade. Other features include setting up a responsive delivery status page, customizing email notifications and sending email updates.

This tool has a free version and if you want to unlock more features, all you have to do is to purchase the premium version.

5. ShipStation

ShipStation is another comprehensive order tracking tool that updates customers, searches for best rates among logistics companies, tracks inventory and even provides analytics. You can install this tool if you have Magento or WooCommerce. It can even be used for marketplace platforms like Walmart, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Jet and much more. You can get a 30-day free trial and upgrade if you need to use more than just the basic features.

6. Wave Accounting

The software you can use for the process is Wave Accounting Software. With this software, you will be able to handle all aspects of your business. It comes with application sections like Sales, Purchases, Banking, Reports, Wave Advisors and much more.

Is Wave accounting safe? Your personal data is safe and secure when you use Wave because of its high level of encryption. You can gain greater peace of mind because you are not compromising your confidential information. There is also no need to sift through spreadsheets just to track your orders because this software will obtain the details for you in one click.

The Bottom Line

The order tracking process might be burdensome, but it can keep your business well-guarded. At first, you may not appreciate the benefits it provides, but once you are confronted with disputes and you have the evidence to back you up, you will realize the importance of keeping track of orders. Even if you have a small business, you can still benefit completely from order tracking.

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Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.

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