If you're anything like me, you probably like to know where your impending deliveries are at every step of the process. Well, now you can follow your package's journey from warehouse to doorstep, and revel in all that anticipatory glee to your heart’s content.
According to Mashable, Amazon Map Tracking is now available to all U.S. customers, and, just as its name implies, the new service allows you to track your package on a map in real time, see how many stops away it is from your door, and check in with the ETA as much as you’d like. The Amazon app sends out a push notification alerting you to your delivery driver’s route, and how many stops away your package is on delivery day.
“The Amazon Map Tracking feature is another delivery innovation we are working on to improve convenience for our customers and provide them greater visibility into their deliveries,” a spokesperson for Amazon told Mashable. The new feature, which was introduced via an initial soft launch in November for some customers, is now available for all stateside Amazon deliveries according to CNET.
As with many things in life, however, there is a catch: USPS, UPS, and FedEx packages won't be visible in the new tracking feature, as only those orders shipped via Amazon’s main logistics team will be included in the service. Also, while the new package tracker is operational in most major cities where Amazon logistics delivers, some smaller towns will miss out on the service, as Amazon logistics is only available in some locations.
The e-commerce company has aimed to improve the delivery process for its customers in a number of ways in recent years; Amazon Key In-Car — an extension of their previously launched in-home delivery service, Amazon Key — was rolled out last month, and gives consumers the option of having your Prime deliveries dropped off inside your car. And Amazon Locker offers Prime members secure, self-service delivery kiosks for easy package pick-up over 2,000 locations, with lockers available in more than 50 cities in the U.S. Email notifications offer a unique pick-up number for each delivery, and folks have three days to fetch their packages before it will be sent back (full refunds are issued in such cases). Any returns that customers want processed can also be dropped off at the lockers.
Some have expressed security and privacy concerns about the in-car and in-home package drop-off options, as you need to allow delivery folks access to your home and car interiors, and others are raising similar concerns with the new map tracking service, AndroidPolice notes. It is possible that the new tracking service could be abused to keep tabs on neighbors’ deliveries, and potentially intercept them before the intended recipient can pick them up. According to CNET, however, Amazon has also been developing a program by which carriers snap pics of packages after they deliver them, to help customers track when and where their goods get dropped off.
Regardless of any potential security concerns, Amazon’s efforts to increase delivery options for customers are certainly innovative. And there’s no doubt that the live tracking feature will prove pretty irresistible to lots of folks; after all, who doesn’t like the idea of a live, video game style delivery experience, where you actually get cool stuff at the end? (Or, like, toothbrushes, or whatever else people buy with Amazon Prime.) From a digital wellness perspective, it could become an issue to have the ability to check and recheck where your delivery's at, but we all have to contend with that with each of our different apps, anyway. In the meantime, for those packages eligible for the new map tracker service, home delivery has never been easier.