The exact method for tracking an online order varies according to the company selling the product but typically involves entering a unique tracking number into an online portal to obtain details about its location. Most companies offer order status details any time the order moves from one location to another.
The majority of online orders consist of two separate but unique tracking numbers, such as an order number for the business and a shipping tracking number for the carrier. The moment you complete the order through the seller's website it creates a order number that often appears on the confirmation screen or in an email. This number allows you to find out information about the order such as when the company processes it, locates the item and sends it out from its warehouse or storeroom. Amazon.com, for example, includes updates at these processing stages that are separate from its actual shipping information.
Many companies that sell products online ship orders through a private parcel delivery service, such as FedEx or UPS, or publicly through the United States Postal Service. If the company uses one of these services, it typically generates a shipment tracking number once the package leaves the seller facilities and enters into the care of the delivery agent. Track these packages by entering in the number on the tracking page of the carrier's site.