If you have a WooCommerce store that ships physical products, you need a solution for WooCommerce shipment tracking.
Providing tracking details to your customers helps them understand where their packages are and when they can expect them. And on your end, organizing the tracking details for your shipments helps you work more effectively and efficiently.
In our hands-on Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST) review, we’re going to take a look at the most popular solution for WooCommerce shipment tracking.
Advanced Shipment Tracking comes in both a free version and a paid version, so it can be a great option no matter what your budget is.
Let’s dig in…
Advanced Shipment Tracking Review: What Does It Do?
At a high level, the key value proposition of Advanced Shipment Tracking (AST) is that it helps improve the WooCommerce order fulfillment process for both customers and store admins.
Customers can more easily see where their orders are and when they can expect them to arrive, which offers them a better shopping experience.
For store admins, you can more easily manage and check the fulfillment status of each order, which helps you optimize your workflows and provide better customer service in less time. Customers might also be less likely to reach out to support because they have more details about their orders’ statuses.
Let’s take a deeper look…
Manage Shipment Details (Store Admin)
To add tracking information to orders (or individual items) as a store admin, AST gives you a few different options.
First, you can just add tracking numbers manually, which might be all you need for low-volume stores.
AST supports 300+ different shipping providers and you can easily enable/disable them as needed. You can also add custom shipping providers, in the rare case that your shipping provider isn’t already covered.
Then, you’ll be able to add tracking numbers right from the order dashboard:
With the Pro version, you don’t even need to manually choose the shipping provider. You can just add the tracking code and the plugin will automatically detect the carrier.
Second, you can use a CSV import, which lets you bulk import tracking information for orders:
Finally, if you’re using a third-party fulfillment service, you can also take advantage of direct integrations with 25+ order fulfillment services including the following:
- WooCommerce Shipping
For example, when you fulfill an order using ShipStation, the integration automatically adds that tracking number to the relevant WooCommerce order and updates its status.
Speaking of order status, AST also lets you integrate tracking information with the WooCommerce order status system.
For example, you can automatically mark an order as shipped when you add tracking information to it. This helps you work more efficiently – here are some examples of how this improves on the native WooCommerce system:
Here are some other notable features on the admin side of things:
- Access a dedicated fulfillment dashboard to see the status of all your orders.
- Add tracking numbers to entire orders or just to individual items (in case you need to send an order in multiple shipments).
- Export tracking information to PayPal using the PayPal Tracking API.
- AST adds a Shipment Tracking API endpoint to the WooCommerce REST API which allows you to add tracking and fulfill orders from external services.
Provide Shipment Tracking Details to Customers
With AST, your customers will be able to access tracking information in a few different spots.
First, you can attach the tracking details to one or more email confirmations that you send to customers. The plugin also comes with its own email templates for shipping confirmations that you can customize using the native WordPress Customizer:
Second, you get an in-dashboard tracking info widget that will display on the “View Order” page in the user’s account area.
As with the emails, you’re able to customize this tracking widget using the real-time WordPress Customizer.
Use the TrackShip Integration for Real-Time Updates + More
If you want to offer more real-time tracking information, the Advanced Shipment Tracking plugin also integrates with the separate TrackShip service, which comes from the same developer as the plugin.
TrackShip offers a more automated tracking experience for both customers and store admins.
You can create a custom white-labeled page that automatically shows the latest tracking information to customers. That is, instead of just showing a button to view tracking details on the shipping service’s website, you can actually display the detailed tracking information on a white-labeled page on your own site.
Beyond that, you can also offer real-time shipment notifications via email and/or SMS.
For example, you could send an email or text message when the package is out for delivery, along with other touchpoints in the shipping process.
As a store admin, TrackShip also gives you a unified dashboard where you can see all of your packages’ details in real-time, which helps you stay on top of fulfillment and more efficiently provide customer support.
You also get analytics to track shipping and delivery performance across your store.
Again, TrackShip is technically a separate service, but it comes from the same developer and integrates tightly with the plugin.
How to Set Up WooCommerce Shipment Tracking With AST
Now that you know what the plugin does, let’s take a quick look at what it’s like to set up and use AST.
1. Configure General Settings
Once you install and activate the plugin, you can head to WooCommerce → Shipment Tracking to set up all of the functionality.
In the main Settings tab, you can configure some basics about the plugin, mainly to do with how to manage order statuses based on fulfillment details. For example, whether to automatically mark an order as shipped when you add tracking information:
2. Choose Shipping Providers
Next, you can choose which shipping providers you want to enable for your store.
Again, AST supports over 300+ different options, including both the big names (UPS, DHL, FedEx, USPS, etc.) as well as many smaller local carriers for countries all around the world:
To help you find the right ones, you can use the search box. For example, if I search for “Vietnam”, I can see all of the local carriers in Vietnam:
As someone who lives in Vietnam, I can say that these options cover most of the popular providers, so AST has pretty good coverage even in a place like Vietnam.
3. Set Up Integrations (Optional)
If you want to set up the automatic integration with your fulfillment service (e.g. WooCommerce Shipping, ShipStation, etc.), you can do that from the Integrations tab:
For all of the integrations that I checked, the setup is as simple as turning the toggle on. You can see the documentation for all of the supported providers here.
If you want to use the TrackShip service, you can set that up from the dedicated TrackShip tab.
4. Start Using the Plugin
At this point, you’re pretty much done and you’re ready to start using the plugin.
How you add tracking information will depend on your preferences. Again, you have the following options:
- Manually add tracking details via the order dashboard.
- Bulk import tracking details using a CSV.
- Set up one of the direct integrations to automatically import tracking details from your fulfillment service.
Advanced Shipment Tracking Pricing
The Advanced Shipment Tracking plugin comes in both a free version and a premium version.
If you want to use the TrackShip integration, that’s also a separate service that you might need to pay for.
Let’s talk about the plugin pricing first, though.
In general, the free version is pretty capable and already lets you add tracking information to orders from 300+ providers and display tracking info together with a link to track the order on the carrier websites (and in the WooCommerce view order page).
The premium version of the plugin then adds some other useful features including the following:
- An admin fulfillment dashboard to manage all orders from one spot.
- Option to split orders to add tracking details to individual items (instead of one tracking number for the entire order).
- Integrations with services such as WooCommerce Shipping, ShipStation, and more. This is one of the most useful premium features in terms of saving time.
- Custom shipping providers, provider auto-detection, and provider white-labeling.
- …plenty more.
Here’s a full comparison of AST Free, AST Pro, and WooCommerce Shipment Tracking:
|Feature||AST Free||AST Pro||WC Shipment Tracking|
|Add tracking & Fulfill orders||✅||✅||✅|
|Add tracking to order Item/s||❌||✅||❌|
|Bulk import tracking from CSV||✅||✅||❌|
|Rename Completed status to Shipped||✅||✅||❌|
|Custom order status (Partially Shipped/Delivered)||✅||✅||❌|
|Custom order status (Shipped)||❌||✅||❌|
|550+ Shipping providers & carriers||✅||✅||Only 50 providers|
|Sync shipping providers||✅||✅||❌|
|Custom shipping providers||❌||✅||✅ (manually)|
|White Label shipping providers||❌||✅||❌|
|Auto-Detect shipping providers||❌||✅||❌|
|30+ built-in Integrations||❌||✅||❌|
|Tracking info widget||✅||✅||✅|
|Customize emails and tracking widget||✅||✅||❌|
|Custom email templates||❌||✅||❌|
|PayPal tracking integration||❌||✅||❌|
|Shipment tracking API endpoints||✅||✅||✅|
|Shipping provider’s API name mapping||❌||✅||❌|
|AutoComplete API orders||❌||✅||❌|
|24/7 Email Support||❌||✅||✅|
If you want the premium version, there are three full-featured plans with different site activation limits:
- One site – $129
- Five sites – $249
- Ten sites – $399
All plans come with one year of support and updates along with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
If you want to use the TrackShip integration for real-time notifications and tracking pages, then you might need to pay for TrackShip as well.
TrackShip has a free plan that supports core features and up to 50 shipments per month, which might work for low-volume stores. You can find the free version of the plugin on the WordPress repository.
After that, paid plans start at $11 per month for all features and up to 100 shipments per month. Plans go up from there based on the number of monthly shipments for your store. For example, for 1,000 shipments per month, you’d pay $59 per month.
It also offers yearly plans at a lower price than monthly. The good thing about yearly plans is that when you subscribe, you will get all the balance for that year added to your account, so you can use it throughout that one year period, which is great for seasonal businesses.
Final Thoughts on Advanced Shipment Tracking
If you have a WooCommerce store that sells physical products, I think you need some type of WooCommerce shipment tracking solution to help customers keep track of where their orders are.
Advanced Shipment Tracking is the most popular WooCommerce shipment tracking plugin at WordPress.org for a good reason – it gives you lots of features to keep track of orders and improve your fulfillment process in general.
Customers will be able to see tracking information and know when to expect their orders. They can access tracking details from your website as well as via emails.
As a store admin, you can also see where each package is, which helps with your admin and lets you provide more efficient customer support. You also get lots of integrations and tools to help you save time when adding tracking numbers to orders.
If you want more real-time notifications and automation, you can also add in the TrackShip service. I think its real-time notification feature is great for your customers and the analytics and other admin-focused features are also useful for improving your fulfillment processes.
If you want to test it out, you can try the free version at WordPress.org (as well as the free TrackShip plan if needed). Then, consider upgrading to AST Pro to access more advanced features.