What is an order number?

Delivery Guide: What is an order number?

An order number makes it easier for companies in e-commerce to organize and keep track of orders and communication with customers. In this article you’ll learn about the purpose of order numbers, how many digits they typically include, and how they differ from a tracking number.

For more information about everything related to deliveries, transportation and similar topics, check out our other articles on logistics.

An order number is a form of reference number

An order number can be compared to an ID number or reference number, which identifies a specific purchase or order. Companies that sell products and/or services via an e-store provide a unique order number to each order placed.

Order numbers are a condition to, as an e-trader, be able to keep track of all orders and incoming purchases. The use of order numbers, or order ID’s as they’re also called, makes things easier if a customer gets in touch with questions about a specific order – for example regarding payments, claims or returns.

Order numbers only apply to orders – not shipping

Order numbers are used internally in a business and toward customers, but are usually not provided to shipping companies and carriers. In other words, they have nothing to do with the transportation of a parcel. For this purpose, tracking numbers are used instead – provided by the shipping company responsible for the transportation and delivery of the parcel.

A customer who has questions about their order should turn to the seller and provide the order number if the questions are about the purchase or product itself. For questions regarding shipping and delivery status, they instead contact the responsible shipping company, using the tracking number as a reference.

Also read: Delivery note and Shipping label

Can the order number be used to track a parcel?

Normally, an order number cannot be used to track a parcel given to the shipping company for delivery to the customer. This is because the order number only refers to the purchase itself, not the transportation and delivery of the product.

In PostNord Portal Business you’ll find the service Track Parcel, with which you as a company can easily track incoming parcels from suppliers as well as outgoing shipments on their way to customers. In this case, tracking is done using the shipment ID assigned to the parcel by PostNord.

How many digits are in an order number?

Order numbers can look differently depending on the company. There are no general rules dictating what an order number should look like, or that it can’t have other characters than numbers. For example, many companies include a dash and/or letters in their order numbers.

An order number is typically shorter than a shipping ID or tracking number.

Frequently asked questions about order numbers

Why should I use order numbers?

Order numbers make it easier to manage and keep track of incoming sales and orders in the company. The use of order numbers also simplifies your communication with customers.

What does an order number look like?

Order numbers can include numbers, letters and dash symbols, but vary between companies.

Do I need to provide an order number when purchasing shipping from PostNord?

No, that’s not necessary. If you use our business tool Skicka Direkt Business you provide details related to the sender and receiver, and we provide you with a shipping number.