Amazon, we need to talk about your delivery bar

28th September 2016

Let’s face it, Amazon is amazing. It’s delivering everything from groceries to office supplies, to clothing, to electronics directly to our door with no fuss. Worst we have to do is pop to the post office if our parcel didn’t fit through the letterbox.

Amazon Prime even allows us to get our precious items the day after we order them! And now with the birth of Amazon Logistics, we’ve even got better parcel tracking than before….. or do we. You see Amazon’s parcel tracking bar is nothing short of incomprehensible.

This was my tracking bar when I ordered my Jawbone Up3 at the start of this month. If you’re wondering just wtf any of it means then you’re not alone. What does the green bar mean? The black dot inside the bar? This was next day delivery so why is the area between dispatched and arriving so large? Also, why is the dot not at the end of the bar?

Oh yes, it got worse. The dot caught up with the end of the green bar (which had also moved to be nearer the empty circle. No indication as to what this means but I assumed that it was closer to being delivered to me?

And it’s not just me who has had issues. Twitter user @ozmills has had similar issues. He’s currently tracking his Amazon Alexa and is being shown this:

Excellent it’s on its way but…. what on earth does the green bar mean?! And its apparently arriving “on time”… but when is that?

True to form – I Googled to see if I could find out anything. The results were not great. Reddit posts asking the same question and that’s about it. Just confused users asking what the damn hell the Amazon tracking information means.

The worst example of the Amazon tracking was again found by @ozmills with this beautiful example of madness.

Amazon did reply but not with anything useful.

This sort of fuzzy feedback was all well and good when Amazon was using Royal Mail to deliver items, your parcel was picked up from the depo and everything was just estimated based on the type of postage used. Fine. But when you’re doing next day delivery and Amazon Logistics, you expect more. DPD have very good tracking information down to being able to give you and hour slot when your parcel will arrive and even the name of the driver who would show up at your door! Hermes can tell you where it is, even Yodel, the worst delivery company in the universe, can tell you what’s going on roughly. Amazon’s offering is quite frankly poor. It’s poor design, poor UX, poor CX (customer experience), and poorly implemented.

I expected more of Amazon, and I’m sure many others did too.

We’ve reached out to Amazon asking if there’s plans to improve the delivery bar and as of publishing, haven’t received a response – we’ll update if we do.