I buy a lot of things online. It seems that when it involves my business I’m doing it at the last-minute like ordering doodads for a Tradeshow or company hats and shirts. Tracking packages becomes important. Today we have Smartphones and they are the perfect device to deliver tracking information but there is a fatal flaw.
Different Ways To Track
Every tracking method requires focusing and finger/mouse agility. You may have a tracking number in your email. That is the most common method. Here is where it gets complex. The link they provide will sometimes go to the company specific filter, some marketer said hey we need them coming to our site and this is an opportunity to do it. Amazon doesn’t put the tracking information in the email so they force you to log into your Amazon account and when it’s their app you have to type your password to see the tracking info. In addition you can get more information by taking the number off of their screen and typing it directly into UPS or USPS or other carrier site.
Invariably you have to navigate to get the number and then copy it and find the correct carrier type website, common UPS/Fedex can’t you default it to the country I’m in? I give you access to my location. On a computer both of these carriers and USPS has a weird multi tracking entry for those people punching in a long list of tracking numbers (what percentage of users use this?) Can’t you optimize this for the 99% that only have one number and give a little link for those 1%’ers that do industrial tracking.
Tracking With Your Phone
On your phone how good are you at the copy/paste maneuver? You have the same navigation Kabuki dance as the laptop but in small fat finger mode. People try to solve this problem with apps. Because they all say something like, “just add your tracking number to the app…”, ugh. I setup a UPS My Account and found that horrendous to manage. I was still in the copy/paste mode and there were actually more steps compared to just typing in a tracking number (really?).
I was reading about Google Now and they included package tracking. Their systems have access to your email, “no, there are no people reading your emails”, and they claim to track most carriers. I’m excited, I keep checking my Google Now. One month, two and nothing. Time to research and dig.
I use Google Apps. I use it for both personal and Business emails. I use all my package tracking through my personal account. So now I find out you have to set an option to allow this in Google Apps. I do this on my business account but my personal account does not have the option. I have the free Google Apps account for under 5 users that my family uses and it does not support Google Now.
So for now I’m still in the dark ages of package tracking. For the rest of you that have a regular Gmail account or a paid Google Apps your good. If you don’t use Gmail then I recommend copy/paste into Chrome. At least sometimes it will give you a direct link to the package tracker.