Google has launched a delivery-tracking feature on Gmail, enabling users to receive updates about their orders automatically.
According to Google, this feature will save users the stress of following individual tracking links for all their orders, as they will be able to see the status of their deliveries with labels like “arriving tomorrow,” “in transit,” and “delivered today.”
Google is launching this product at a strategic time, with Black Friday deals and Christmas orders—both of which account for almost 15% of all retail sales in the US– set to begin in a few weeks.
“In the coming weeks, Gmail will show a simple, helpful view of your package tracking and delivery information right in your inbox. For orders with tracking numbers, Gmail will prominently display your current delivery status in your inbox list view and in a summary card at the top of individual emails,” Google said in a post.
“Package tracking will be available across most major U.S. shipping carriers and will provide important details at a glance, such as estimated arrival date and status — like ‘Label created’, ‘Arriving tomorrow’, or ‘Delivered today’.” the post reads.
Users can opt in to receive logistics tracking updates from their inboxes or in Gmail settings, after which Gmail automatically checks for the statuses of all orders with tracking numbers. A status banner showing the package status and order details is placed in the order confirmatory email—at the top of the message.
However, this product may not be feasible for users who order through Amazon, the global ecommerce behemoth. Speaking to the Verge, a Google spokesman maintained that Amazon’s email format does not allow Gmail to show the tracking information for orders placed through the ecommerce giant.
According to him, the feature will only be available when a merchant includes the tracking number in the email sent to the customer. This shuts out a wide pool of shoppers from using the Gmail feature as Amazon is the go-to ecommerce site for millions of American adults, 70% of which are Amazon Prime members.
With this foray into logistics tracking, Google is positioning itself in competition with logistics products that help to track products, such as the Deliveries app.