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Google Knows Best With Its Release of the Multi-Tab Gmail Inbox

Last year, when Google announced that brands and vendors would have to pay for the privilege of participating in Google Shopping, via Product Listing Ads (PLAs), after years of free inclusion in Google Product Search, there was much uproar.

And although the blowback continues (Amazon recently decided to remove its Kindle readers from the platform after having already decided not to play ball in the PLA space at all), all in all, Google Shopping looks to be a success, with retailers already allocating 6% of their marketing budgets to PLAs, and the majority stating that they will continue to spend more in that channel, according to Forrester.

Google’s rollout of the multi-tab Gmail inbox clearly showed that consumers are desperately in search of a way to manage the increasing volume of e-mail they receive.

This isn’t the first time Google made an unpopular decision (I still miss Google Reader), but the success of this particular initiative begs the question: can’t the unpopular decision—at least in Google’s case—also be the right one?

I’ve been following the rollout of the new multi-tab Gmail inbox, and the retail world’s reaction to it, ever since the company announced its impending arrival in May, and so far, here’s what I think: we’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

Timing Is Everything

When I do my one final e-mail check in the evening before bed, all I want to know is whether there’s something that’s going to keep me from getting there, or something that’s going to get me out of it earlier than expected.  E-mails from my team and my clients are the only things that matter.  If it needs immediate attention, I’ll attend to it; if it can wait, so can I.

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