Good Googly Woogly! Search Giant’s Same-Day Delivery to Kill Amazon?
Google is a search engine, right? Google Shopping Express makes it look as though the search giant is becoming more of an offline entity, too. In a move uniting search, e-commerce and package delivery, Google is shipping books, groceries, clothing and more that consumers purchase from retailers through the search engine. Then Google delivers the purchases to customers the same day in Manhattan, Peninsula, San Francisco, San Jose and West Los Angeles. Shoppers in Northern California receive overnight delivery.
The inclusion of Barnes & Noble e-commerce is what had many speculating on Aug. 7 that Google was trying to take on Amazon, which is notorious for its book sales.
"Amazon's popularity as an online shopping destination has the potential to undercut Google's lucrative search engine advertising business," according to The New York Times. "By adding Barnes & Noble to its list of 19 retail partners, Google is making a more explicit grab for Amazon's turf."
So far, though, Google Shopping Express has a rather small footprint. In Manhattan's 10025 ZIP code, visitors can choose from Barnes & Noble, Costco, Fairway, L'Occitane, Staples, Target, Toys "R" Us and Walgreens products. Then Google arranges for same-day delivery. (Couriers collect the goods from the retailers and deliver them for Google.)
When Google debuted the service in March 2013 in the San Francisco Bay area, it had more choices than the current ones in Manhattan: "retailers such as Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys"R"Us/Babies"R"Us—along with locally distinct shops, such as San Francisco's Blue Bottle Coffee, and the Bay Area's Palo Alto Toy & Sport and Raley's Nob Hill Foods."
On Friday, California's 94002 ZIP code offered the same e-commerce options as Manhattan, minus Fairway. American Eagle and Blue Bottle Coffee weren't on the 94002 list.
Fry's Electronics, Guitar Center, Hassett Hardware, Smart&Final, REI, Whole Foods and Peninsula Beauty joined the 94002 list.