Do you track the orders in your store?
For dropshipping and online stores the advanced tracking system is necessary.
In this article you’ll learn how to setup such system using the WooCommerce AliExpress shipment tracking plugin.
Quick note: if you’re the dropshipper and use the Ali2Woo plugin, you may know that it collects tracking numbers from AliExpress automatically.
But this post is about ANOTHER advanced order tracking techniques.
Let’s get started.
Watch the tracking plugin video
This is the video from our dropshipping channel.
It’s about Ali2Woo, but also there is the demonstration of the tracking plugin.
Look at the plugin features
- Show tracking numbers in email notifications for your customers
- Show them in your client personal accounts and on the order page for site administrator
- Integrate with tracking services: 17Track, Cainiao, AfterShip
- Add a tracking form on your website using a special short-code
- Customize the tracking templates for email notifications, personal accounts and admin panel
Features that require AfterShip API Key
- Daily automatic synchronization of tracking information
- Automatic detection of carrier code by tracking number
- Automatic changing of the WooCommerce order status if related tracking numbers get the “Delivered” state
- Manual synchronization function for specific tracking numbers
- Split tracking numbers into groups depending on their state: Pending, Shipped, Delivered, etc.
Set up the plugin settings
You can find all tracking settings in WooCommerce > Settings > AliExpress Tracking
Now let’s take a closer look at each parameter.
1. Tracking service
Initially, there’re four values: None, 17Track, Cainiao, AfterShip.
Do you want tracking numbers to be links?
So your customers will be redirected to the website of the chosen tracking service when clicking on the tracking number.
Select one of the tracking services, otherwise leave None.
Additionally, if you want to use your own tracking form and not transfer users to an external site, then use a special short-code.
2. AfterShip API Key
3. Enable tracking codes synchronization
This option enables automatic updating of the status of tracking codes using AfterShip.
4. A list of couriers for auto detect
Adding new tracking code, the plugin can automatically identify carrier according to the tracking code format.
However, in AfterShip detection works based on given list of carriers.
For example: dhl, ups, fedex, hong-kong-post
To find out the carrier identification code in AfterShip and to get the current list of supported carriers, check out this page.
5. Delivered status logic
An order in WooCommerce may contain several tracking numbers.
So each order item has its own number.
Therefore, it is often necessary to change order status to “Completed” if all tracking codes have become “Delivered”.
Next, consider a specific example.
Let’s say there is an order on AliExpress with two Xiaomi phones.
As you can see each product has its own tracking number.
When both tracking numbers become “Delivered”, the AfterShip API will notify plugin about this.
After that the corresponding order in WooCommerce will be marked as “Completed”.
Use the Tracking list
All tracking numbers added to WooCommerce orders are displayed on the WooCommerce> Tracking List page.
For convenience, tracking numbers depending on their status are divided into different categories:
Firstly, Error and Publish are statuses added by the plugin. Others are assigned in AfterShip.
Publish has a new tracking number that has not yet been synchronized.
Error are tracking numbers with some kind of synchronization error.
Moreover, you can find the description of the AfterShip statuses here.
Synchronize the specific tracking codes if needed
Sometime you may want to run the synchronization manually.
So you don’t need to wait for automatic updates always.
Mark the necessary tracking numbers, select the Tracking Sync function and that’s it.
Please note that sometimes AfterShip cannot determine carrier code automatically.
It may happen for some tracking numbers.
In this case, you need to go to tracking editing and set the carrier code manually.
Use the special short-code to track orders in the website frontend
The plugin implements a special short-code [wcae-track].
Just add it to any page or post on your site.
After that the 17Track service form will appear on the page.
So your website visitors can check their tracking numbers there.
Consider an example:
Please note this is the iframe form.
That’s why you cannot change its design.
But it is possible to change a design of the button and of the search field.
To do that, just edit the appropriate template.
In addition, adding a short-code to page, this page becomes available for selection in the Tracking service field.
For example, in the following screenshot, we put the short codes on two pages.
You can choose any of them.
Just a reminder that, during the choice of this page as a Tracking service, the tracking numbers (in notifications, order, account page, etc.) will lead to the tracking form located on the selected page.
Customize the templates showing the tracking information
The tracking information is displayed through the templates.
Consequently, It’s easily to customize them.
For email notifications, the user account and the shortcode there are separate ones.
The screenshot below shows in which folder these templates are.
Change email notification template
On the screenshot using the red line a place for which the tracking template is responsible is highlighted.
If you want to change not only this area, but the whole notification template you have to change the corresponding WooCommerce template.
WooCommerce has several notification templates depending on the status of the order.
All available WooCommerce notification templates you can find in
WooCommerce> Settings-> Emails
Also there option to choose which notifications WooCommerce sends automatically.