In an effort to compete with Amazon Prime, Google is expected to launch Google Shopping Express, a same-day delivery service offering products from major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens and Safeway.
While the company has yet to publicly announce this, sources have said that the search engine giant is looking to expand the presence of Google Wallet and re-focus the company’s e-commerce initiatives.
If the hype is true and Google does launch Shopping Express, sources say that it will be about $10-$15 cheaper than Amazon Prime, which costs $79 a year and includes free two-day delivery of many items bought at Amazon.com. Google also plans to take advantage of the fact that many people use a Google search to find products when shopping online, creating an ideal platform for Google Shopping Express.
“We view Google Shopping Express as another step in the evolution of Google Shopping and potential move to a full-blown marketplace,” Shawn Milne, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, wrote to investors Tuesday.
There has been criticism over the same-day delivery option, with some saying that people simply don’t want it. It does seem interesting that people would pay for same-day delivery from powerhouses such as Walmart and Target, stores that seem to be on just about every street corner these days.
Perhaps this could be appealing to those who can’t leave the house, those who suffer from a strong online shopping addiction or stay-at-home parents, who would rather order online than expend all the energy it takes to put the kids in the car and get them to the store.
For some, online purchasing does not bring about the same sense of instant gratification that in-store shopping does. Waiting even 24 hours can make the novelty of a new purchase wear off, so Google may be on to something here.
Keeping up with Amazon
However, for $64-$69 a year, consumers hope that free return shipping will be included — something Amazon Prime covers. And if they are trying to keep up with Amazon, there needs to be other perks thrown in. Amazon Prime members receive free streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, a Kindle e-book to borrow for free each month, as well as free two-day shipping.
While Google could surely roll out its own appealing offers, it may have difficulty creating a loyal audience. Amazon has gained respect and loyalty from customers over the years, and many may be hesitant to jump ship for a new service, regardless of who is offering it. And who is to say that Google’s customer service would be on par with Amazon’s, or that its services would be as reliable? Google has tough competition here.
For now, this is still just a rumor — and is reportedly being tested in San Francisco — with lots of speculation and potential behind it. It would be very interesting to see Google and Amazon go head-to-head, but until there is truth to the rumors, Amazon remains the undisputed king of online shopping.