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Amazon Valid Tracking Rate from the 19th April 2021

By Chris Dawson March 31, 2021 - 12:16 pm

The Amazon Valid Tracking Rate measures how often you use valid tracking numbers on your seller fulfilled orders. There are new tracking policy requirements from the 19th of April this year for which you’ll be expected to achieve 95% compliance. This will only apply to carriers integrated with Amazon and will not include items delivered via untracked services – put simply if tracking is available you need to upload it and if you use untracked services it’s business as usual.

Tracking is key to customer satisfaction, both for when things go perfectly to reassure customers that their order is on it’s way but also for when things occasionally go wrong to let consumers know Amazon are aware of the issue, that it’s all in hand and to give guidance as to the new ETA and promise 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

You must provide during Ship Confirm:

  • The name of the delivery service provider and the specific delivery service used for all merchant fulfilled orders; and
  • The tracking ID for merchant fulfilled orders that are delivered with a tracked delivery method or the unique parcel ID (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

You will be required to reach 95% Valid Tracking Rate:

  • On your domestic orders through Amazon UK over a rolling 30-day period i.e. if you dispatch from an address in the UK to a delivery address in the UK.
  • Amazon will measure the Valid Tracking Rate for non-prime merchant fulfilled orders at a category level.
  • Amazon Valid Tracking Rate will be measured on all domestic orders delivered through integrated delivery service providers including any orders delivered with Royal Mail 24®/48® delivery methods.

Items not included in Valid Tracking Rate metric

The following items are not included in the Valid Tracking Rate calculation:

  • Domestic items delivered by carrier/delivery service provider not integrated with Amazon
  • Domestic items delivered with untracked delivery services/delivery methods
  • Digital products, e.g. audio book

Popular UK couriers integrated with Amazon

DHL, DPD, Hermes, Parcelforce, Royal Mail, TNT, Tuffnells, UPS, Yodel.

Learn more in webinar

Amazon are holding a webinar on Thursday the 1st of April where you can learn more about the new Amazon tracking policy requirements and how to protect your account health. Topics will cover:

  • What is VTR
  • Practical Steps to insert VTR
  • Integrated carriers per marketplace and valid tracking number formats
  • Check your performances
  • VTR FAQs

You can register for the webinar here.

  • Redivory
    6 months ago

    Thank you Chris,
    I will be watching the webinar with interest.
    I currently use OBA and code SU1 which is just bog standard 2nd class large letter really.
    There are many views on weather such packages will be included when calculating the rate, or are not part of the calculation.

    Looking at the line :
    Items not included in Valid Tracking Rate metric,,
    “Domestic items delivered with untracked delivery services/delivery methods”

    However, Royal Mail is integrated so many views seem to be that this is part of the calculation.

    Hopefully this time tomorrow all will be clear(er)

  • Leon
    6 months ago

    Hopefully this webinar will cover how to upload the tracking information for DHL Parcel, formally UKMail as this carrier is stated as being supported within Seller Central but sadly the tracking is always stated as invalid.

  • This is going to be very interesting re: Royal Mail 24/48 2D barcodes as currently Amazon can only validate the 2D barcode “tracking” number if is has received the delivery doorstep scan from the postman.

    From what I have learnt, it seems that according to Amazon the number is NOT valid if there is no scan. Therefore they are judging sellers on a metric which is totally outside of the seller/sender control.

    There could be several reasons why a delivery scan is not done such as PDA failure, overlooked, cannot read barcode etc…

    Until we know much more information it is going to be hard to know how to move forwards, especially for those that use 3rd party software to handle multi channel sales orders for the despatch process and thus cannot easily use Amazon Buy Shipping or integrate click and drop fully to their Amazon account etc.

    I would advise registering for the webinar and keep a close on eye this over the next few days as this could be quite a big game changer for those using Royal Mail without Amazon Buy Shipping. Hopefully it will workout for us all 🙂

  • 6 months ago

    Helpful article thanks! Also didn’t see anything about the webinar anywhere until reading this so I will be attending.

  • Kevin
    6 months ago

    What about if you use a franking machine?

  • 6 months ago

    Well i watched the webinar and asked questions about royal mail 24/48 2d tracking and how we are reliant on the postie scanning the items. the questions were ignored and they kept saying ” reach out to your RM manager” and buy the postage through Amazon. I use an integrated system (Cloud Commerce Pro) and every item currently has the 2D tracking uploaded to Amazon automatically, but on the first report Amazon has just put up on delivery performance VTR i am only at 77%!

  • 6 months ago

    The webinar was pretty wishy washy I’m afraid.

    I’ve downloaded our report and inside the report there are many orders where the tracking works! So we’ve no idea what to do.

    The downloaded report also only includes orders where the tracking is invalid, so there is no way to compare consignments to see what (if any) issues there are.

    We may have to switch to using ‘Other’ as a carrier which of course is unhelpful to the customer.

  • Gary
    6 months ago

    Me and I’m sure many others are in the same position as Rob above.

    We’re sitting at 77% with the “invalid” items being where Royal Mail have not scanned them as delivered. As another user posted this can be for many different reasons. It is most defiantly not that they aren’t getting delivered!

    I cannot see how Amazon can include RM 24/48 as “tracked” service. There is no “tracking” it is simply a delivery scan. A scan that is useful but as we all can see it is not done on every delivery.

    Amazon will need to pull the plug on counting this service as a “tracked” service I believe. Royal Mail 24/48 is NOT tracked and Royal Mail themselves will tell you this.

  • mark
    6 months ago

    The absolute message from Amazon very clear and not misleading it is as follows.

    The only way to avoid penalties or other poor metrics is to sign up for Amazon shipping.

    Then when it arrives late we just apologise to you just like we do with our own prime shipments.
    The reason this is ok is simple.

    Its one rule for all your peasants and another for the big boys of amazon.

    Remember when you set up your business and thought you were self employed well you must have been confused.

    You worked monday to friday and arranged a collection time for shipments.
    Now its after 4.30pm amazon say you can go home and you must work one day over the weekend.
    So now they are just trying to force you into using their delivery company as well.

    Did any on the webinar see how many toilet breaks i could have per day.

  • Marcus
    6 months ago

    This message to customers saying that if the order has not been delivered, you can “Claim a Refund” is encouraging the unscrupulous buyers to claim a refund for an order that has been delivered. We send a screenshot of the tracking information and time of delivery, we do not hear another word from that buyer. We complained to Amazon saying that this message was not helpful to buyers and certainly not to Sellers, especially during covid lockdowns when the couriers are struggling to deliver so many parcels within this time limit, (Amazon Shipping was the worst before Christmas.).
    They told us to report those unscrupulous buyers, which we do, and Amazon would deal with it!!! We were reporting 2 to 3 a week before Christmas.

  • 6 months ago

    Totally agree. Since Amazon came up with that ridiculous message to buyers it quadrupled the amount of messages we were getting from buyers saying they hadn’t received the item. We got a few messages from honest buyers saying Amazon has sent us a message saying we can have a refund but we have received it thank you. Same as yourselves, we send a screenshot of the Royal Mail delivery scan and time of delivery, and we never hear from them again, unless they reply to say its suddenly turned up next door, or their child had “put it somewhere”

  • 6 months ago

    what about franked post? dowe use other ? or select royal mail 1st class or second class. I have been using the later and have now got warnings on all my dispatched orders

  • IMHO I think the current general workaround advice for those using Royal Mail without a fully trackable service is to select “Other” when marking as shipped on seller central as then the shipment will NOT be included in the metric analysis. However my concern with this is:

    1. It is technically incorrect (I doubt Amazon will like it if they find out people are doing it)
    2. It does not help the customer so is a step backwards in terms of user experience

    I believe that Amazon want you to link your RM OBA or Click and Drop to Seller Central then use Amazon Buy Shipping and choose the correct service. However, word of caution, on the Amazon seller forums there is much debate over being billed twice! (once by Amazon and again by RM). – although not sure if invoice evidence has been produced as yet on that.

    A bit like the current pandemic…. it is a fast evolving situation 😐

  • Alan Paterson
    5 months ago

    I am working with 2 clients who do not have RM accounts to link to Amazon.

    When they print a large letter label on Amazon without a linked account it displays the “1st class / 2nd class” large letter service.

    If the large letter label is printed on the Amazon platform am I understanding this right – that label is OK and will not negatively effect VTR.

    everyone is talking about 24/48 but that is only available on linked account with RM – and there seems to be a double billing going on at the moment.

    Does anyone know if the “1st class” or “2nd class” labels printed through Amazon are acceptable?

  • Prozac
    5 months ago

    We’ve operated like this years, successfully too. It does seem for now you can get away using ‘other’ without it ruining your metrics.

    However your clients should get ready behind the scenes so if they do have to integrate OBA, all the prep work is done.

    Amazon seem to have really misstepped here. Amazon seem to be glossing over that royal mail 2D isn’t a proper tracked service and lots of parcels never get scanned. The London staff they are using to manually contact sellers about VTR rollout don’t seem to appreciate the issues it will cause.

    Shipping by Amazon ( via royal mail) isn’t ideal either as you can’t average weigh across your consignments.

    Personally I think Amazon need to pause and relook at all their internal procedures. So many issues everywhere!

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