SMS Tracking Notifications

This feature is currently in Beta.

The SMS tracking notification feature is currently in Beta. The functionality and availability may change as we further develop the feature.

The SMS Tracking Notification feature lets your customers receive tracking updates for their orders as text messages. This gives your customers updates on tracking statuses directly on their mobile phones, without needing to access a tracking page. It's especially great for delivery statuses, so customers can arrange for someone to be there to pick up the shipment.

A sample text message with the text: Your USPS package is due to be delivered on Mon, Dec. 04. Track at URL link.

With SMS notifications enabled, when your customer receives an order notification email they can access your Branded Tracking page. From the Branded Tracking page, your customer can then enter their phone number to opt-in to SMS notifications.


The customer will receive a series of text messages to confirm their choice and track their shipment to delivery.

SMS Tracking Notification Requirements

  • SMS tracking is only available for US Domestic Shipments, Canada Domestic Shipments, or Shipments between Canada and United States.

  • You must enable ShipStation's Branded Tracking Page and ShipStation's Shipment Confirmation Email for each store you wish to make the SMS option available on.

    This is so your customer has access to your store's Branded Tracking page, which is where they access the SMS Opt-in option.

  • The customer must opt-in for SMS Tracking messages on your Branded Tracking Page by entering their mobile number.

What are the SMS notification restrictions?

ShipStation partners with a third-party system to send SMS Tracking Notifications to your customers. ShipStation must comply with our partner's acceptable use policy and other messaging restrictions. This means there are some restricted words, terms, and phrases when using SMS messaging to notify your customers about their shipments. If your product names or company names set within ShipStation contain any of the restricted words, you will be unable to use the SMS notification feature. 

Restricted terminology includes specific banned words as well as words that fall within certain categories of use cases. The lists below provide several examples but are not exhaustive lists.

Banned Word Examples

  • Vape/Vapes

  • Cannabis, CBD, and related terms

  • Medibles

  • Kratom

Restricted Categories Examples

  • Illegal substances

  • Prescription drugs

  • Hate speech, harassment, abuse, or any communications that originate from a hate group

  • Sex

  • Firearms

  • Alcohol & tobacco

In particular, SMS messages related to the sale of cannabis and prescription medication are considered illegal in the United States under Federal Law. CBD is not legal in all states so it is not permissible to send SMS messages related to CBD products.

ShipStation will disable the SMS notification feature for accounts that ship CBD or cannabinoid products or otherwise violate these restrictions.

Our messaging partner occasionally updates their acceptable use policy, restricted categories, and banned words. ShipStation reviews each of these regularly and will alert you if your SMS notification feature for a specific store must be disabled or is eligible to be re-enabled.

Enable SMS Tracking

To enable SMS Notifications:

  1. Go to the Tracking Page tab of your store settings, and click the option to Enable this feature.

    Tracking Page Tab with SMS Notification Beta section highlighted. Two radio button options available to Enable or Disable the feature.

    This setting is not visible in ShipStation's Legacy layout. See Troubleshooting Branded Tracking SMS Notifications for more information.

  2. Click Save Changes.

Customer Opt-in

When the SMS feature is enabled, your customers can enter a phone number to opt-in when on your branded tracking page. When opting-in for the first time with that phone number, your customer will receive the welcome and confirmation messages.


Customers will need to sign up for SMS notifications on each shipment they’re sent. So, if they order multiple times from the same store, they must opt-in for SMS Notifications on the Branded Tracking Page for each order.

SMS Message Examples

When a customer first opts-in to SMS Notifications, they will receive a Welcome Message with instructions on how to stop the messages if they want to discontinue the service.

Mock up of a smart phone message with the text: Thanks for signing up for order alerts! We'll text you shipping & delivery updates. Text STOP to cancel.

ShipStation sends the following SMS notifications about shipment statuses:

  • Delivery Date Announced

    A sample text message with the text: Your USPS package is due to be delivered on Mon, Dec. 04. Track at URL link.
  • Out for Delivery

    Text message example with the text: Your USPS package is out for delivery. Track at URL link.
  • Delivered

    Example text message with the text: Your USPS package has been delivered. More info at URL link.

Response Prompts:

There are only three words your customer can send and get an automated response: STOP, HELP and CANCEL. Any other responses will receive an automated explanation.

A text message example with the first message reading: Your USPS package has been delivered. More info at URL link. A reply message reads: Awesome. Another reply message reads: Sorry, we did not understand your message. Please use STOP, HELP, or CANCEL.

Troubleshooting Branded Tracking SMS Notifications

  • For Legacy users, the option to enable or disable SMS notifications is not visible in Store Setting. However, this feature is set to enabled by default. As long as you have enabled the Branded Tracking Page and Shipment Confirmation Emails, your customers will have access to the opt-in option for SMS.

    To disable SMS Tracking notifications, you must use ShipStation's new layout.

  • Turning off SMS Notifications does not stop SMS notifications for customers who have active deliveries and opted-in to SMS Notifications before you disabled it.

    For example, a customer places an order and opts-in to SMS notifications at checkout. The shipment is out for delivery and the customer received the first of three SMS notifications. Then you decide to disable the feature. The customer will still receive the remaining SMS notifications for that order until it has been delivered. However, the customer will not be able to add more numbers from the order once SMS notifications have been disabled.