Thursday, September 21, 2023

Keeping Google building kit right in your Gmail inbox

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Google is adding package tracking features to Gmail, which should make it easier to see at a glance where your orders are as you scroll through your emails. In a blog post on wednesdaythe company says you’ll see “an easy, useful summary of your package tracking and delivery information in your inbox” in the coming weeks.

Gmail shows you the delivery date on the list item for each shipping email, so you don’t have to actually open the email and click a tracking link to find out when to expect the package. However, if you go to the email, you will see a card with more detailed information. At the moment it looks like the feature is opt-in – when it becomes available you can enable it via a notification that appears in your inbox or via settings.

Gif with an email in Gmail's list view labeled

You can get delivery dates without actually opening the email.
GIF: Google

Google says Gmail can also notify you when a package is delayed and put the order email at the top of your inbox. That feature appears to be coming later, however, as the post says it will be rolled out “in the coming months.”

The features work with “most major US carriers,” but there’s one elephant in the room: Amazon. The seller’s shipping notification emails don’t contain tracking information or even tell you which products have shipped (perhaps because the company didn’t want Google to track what you bought from them and use that information for advertising).

Google spokesperson Madison Veld told The edge that Amazon’s email format means Gmail won’t be able to show tracking information for it, saying the feature will be available “to participating sellers” and that “if no tracking number is included in the seller’s email, the package tracking feature will not be available.”

That’s not unique to Google – there’s a history with other parcel delivery apps struggling to keep up with Amazon — but it does mean you can’t rely entirely on Gmail to keep track of your items. Still, the capabilities Google adds should come in handy for people who don’t necessarily need the power of a dedicated package-tracking app (although those still have the advantage of showing only your packages rather than that information between all of them. other emails you receive).

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