March 6, 2013
Google To Challenge Amazon Prime With Same-day Shipping Service
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Google is reportedly gearing up to launch a new shopping service, dubbed “Google Shopping Express,” which will rival Amazon Prime and other expedited shipping offerings.Priced at $69 or $64 per year -- $10 or $15 less expensive than Amazon Prime -- Google´s Shopping Express will include same-day delivery from major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and Safeway, according to a TechCrunch report on Tuesday citing unnamed sources.
Amazon Prime, by comparison, is free for a one-month trial period and $79 a year thereafter. The Amazon service also provides instant streaming of some 25,000 movies and TV shows, along with a monthly Kindle e-book rental.
A Google spokesman would not confirm reports about “Google Shopping Express,” saying only that the company has nothing to announce at this time but is continuing its work on retail services and partnerships.
TechCrunch suggested the new service would act as a focal point for existing Google commerce sites, such as Google Shopping and Google Wallet, a unified payment system for apps, movies and books across the Google ecosystem.
If launched, “Shopping Express” would certainly help Google capitalize on its recent online sales growth, which hit a new record this past holiday shopping season and is expected to grow another nine to 12 percent this year.
A same-day delivery service would also make sense given Google´s recent acquisition of Channel Intelligence, which provides a data management platform for online purchases, and Canadian startup BufferBox, which lets businesses drop off packages at a location where customers can retrieve them.
Amazon offers a similar service, known as Amazon Locker, in certain areas.
Tom Fallows, an e-commerce product manager at Google, is believed to be leading the Shopping Express project, which is reportedly already being tested by Google employees.