Show updates on the tracking page before the order is fulfilled.
A Pre-shipment timeline is a way for merchants with longer fulfillment times to show information related to the order status on the tracking page.
Letting customers see that the order is processing and has updates will lower support time, create transparency, and set the right expectations.
When should you use it?
Use case - Longer fulfillment times
Some merchants have over 3 days of delay between order creation and order fulfillment. Instead of letting the customers enter the tracking page and see the default message, you can show updates related to orders, removing any concerns for problems with the order processing and shipping.
BEFORE - without shipping timeline
With configurations like:
- Order received, 0h
- Assembling order, 6h
- Order processing, 1d
- Order ready to ship, 2d
- Order shipping label issued, waiting for carrier collection 3d
AFTER - Customers will see, on the tracking page this information between the 6th hour and the 24th hour.
AFTER - Customers will see, on the tracking page this information between the first day and the second day.
and so on.... While the statuses you see on the right are shown over time, it provides excellent transparency to customers for your order processing steps. Your customer support team will appreciate lowering this topic of discussion with the customers.
Use case - Chineses new year, BFCM, warehouse overload
Even if you are doing an excellent 1-day fulfillment, there are always events that hurt it - be issues with the warehouse, holiday sessions, or special occasions like BFCM, etc. For those times, it is great to keep customers updated on the longer processing times and the reason for it.
Use case - Local delivery, coffee shops, etc
If you have a standard shipping service, that is highly reliable but does not have easy tracking - you can include static messages related to it, so customers can see it. Note that you can further give instructions with shipment messages and where they can check.
Sometimes stores owners refer to fully setup tracking timelines as "fake track and trace"
Use case - Handmade products
If you sell handmade products, you know that crafting a table, chair or jewelry can take a few days. Instead of taking customer phone calls and explaining the order status, a timeline targeting those specific products in order can be created.
Similar timeline configuration targeting specific handmade products can be:
Use case - Preorder
Once customers preorder an item, it is best to create the right expectations. For this, you can set a timeline based on the pre_order tag. You can target them with separate tags if you have different preorder processes.
It is safe to put more messages, as once the shipment is added - we will replace that timeline with the shipment details.
Tags are automatically added to an order by the merchant, or other third-party app. If an order has a specific tag (e.g. pre_order), Rush can create a special timeline only for orders with those tags.
They are updated within 3 days. If you don't see some tags in your Shopify orders, you can click on "clear cache" and in the next 2-3 minutes, we will be able to fetch all those new tags.
Other use cases:
- Personalized products with a printed design (T-shirts, costumes, merchandise, 3-D printable products, etc.);
- Personalized gifts;
- Hand-made products;
- Custom engraved jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, brooches, etc.);
- Tailoring, tampering in the apparel retailing industry;
- Made-to-order products;
- Custom-made furniture;
- Products that need resizing;
- Custom statuses such as Polishing, Final Check, Manufactured, and many more.
How does it work?
- You can have multiple timelines at any time created, targeting different cases your business might have.
- Timelines are ordered from top to bottom. While the timeline on top will have a higher priority to be shown.
- Timelines that are more "general" (with fewer conditions) should be kept at the bottom, while specific cases should be kept on top.
- Only one timeline is picked and shown on the tracking page, based on the first that match all conditions of tags, and products.
- Timeline messages are shown as offsets of the order-creating date on the tracking page.
1. Go to Shipments from the left sidebar
2. Go to the submenu Pre-shipment timeline
3. You will have a default timeline already created for you. You can either modify it or edit it.
4. Once you are in a timeline you can add any message, time offset*, shipment status, and location if you need to: