Amazon is the number one marketplace in the world. Most of Amazon’s success is because of their third-party sellers, in fact, around 50% of their sold items are from retailers using their platform to sell their merchandise. Nearly three-quarters of Amazon businesses have between just one and five employees.
Amazon has made the marketplace welcoming to newcomers. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and a few more minutes to get your first product listed live on the site.
With Amazon’s intent to attract as much as possible to the marketplace, it makes sense that Amazon wants to make it functionally easy to start listing products on the site.
Most users sign up and start selling on Amazon without fully understanding the implications involved. Yes, setting up the account and creating your first listing is easy, but it’s hard to forget that this marketplace is governed by certain rules and standards that sellers have to comply with.
To improve the buyer experience, Amazon periodically introduces new rules and policies that sellers have to comply with in order to continue selling on the marketplace. The Valid Tracking Rate metric being one of them.
What is the Valid Tracking Rate?
The Valid Tracking Rate measures how often you use valid tracking numbers on your seller fulfilled orders. This is a new tracking policy requirement that will come into effect on the 19th of April this year for which you will be expected to achieve 95% compliance. This will only apply to carriers integrated with Amazon and will not include items delivered via untracked services, meaning if tracking is available, you need to upload it and if you use untracked services, it’s business as usual.
Why is Amazon implementing the Valid Tracking Rate?
Tracking is essential for customer satisfaction, both for when things go perfectly to reassure customers that their package is on its way, but also for when things occasionally go sideways, to let customers know that Amazon is aware of the issue and that it’s all in hand – usually they will be given a new ETA to put things right if the item still doesn’t arrive.
Amazon customers depend on tracking numbers to find out where their orders are and when they can expect to receive them. The Valid Tracking Rate (VTR) is a performance metric that reflects those expectations.” – Amazon
Tracking Rate requirements from the 19th of April 2021
Sellers must provide the following during Ship Confirm:
The name of the delivery service provider and the specific delivery service used for all merchant fulfilled orders – example: Royal Mail First Class
The tracking ID for the merchant fulfilled orders that are delivered with a tracked delivery service or the unique parcel ID ( this is located above the 2D barcode on the label) in case you use the Royal Mail 24/48 delivery methods.
Tracking numbers are only considered valid if they have at least one carrier scan recorded by Amazon.
Items that are not included in the Valid Tracking Rate metric
The following items aren’t included in the new Amazon Valid Tracking Rate metric:
Domestic items delivered by carriers/delivery services that are not integrated with Amazon
Domestic items delivered with untracked delivery service options
Digital products such as audiobooks, software codes, etc.
Which UK couriers are integrated with Amazon?
The following courier services are integrated with Amazon:
DHL, DPD< Hermes, Parcelforce, Royal Mail, TNT, Tuffnells, UPS, Yodel.
How to calculate VTR?
To calculate this metric, Amazon takes the number of packages you ship with a valid tracking number and divide it by the total number of packages you have shipped and confirmed.
For example, if you confirmed shipment for 200 packages and 190 of those packages had a valid tracking number, your Valid Tracking Rate would be 95% (190 ÷ 200 = .95 or 95%).
Note: Tracking numbers are considered valid only if they have at least one carrier scan recorded.
Amazon calculates the Valid Tracking Rate in 7-day and 30-day increments. The report uses promised delivery date to determine which orders are included in the metric. Your Valid Tracking Rate has a two-week lag, giving the data enough time to be statistically relevant.
How can you request a Valid Tracking Rate report?
To view a report of all packages you have shipped and confirmed and the packages that include a valid tracking number by category, follow these steps:
- You need to click on the Performance menu and select Account Health.
- Click View Details under the Delivery performance tab and click on Valid Tracking Rate.
- Click on Download Report.
Note: Please allow 72 hours for the report and metric to reflect any updates.
The Valid Tracking Rate metric is here to improve the overall customer satisfaction and it represents a new standard that sellers have to keep up with. How will this affect Amazon sellers in the long run? Only time can tell – but the current iteration involves extra hassle when uploading all the tracking information. This is where order management software such as JustShipIT shines, you can simply send all the tracking information into your Amazon account when dispatching orders with a simple click!