March 29, 2013
Google Offers Same Day Delivery in Bay Area Test
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Google is trying to help with all of your searches. For San Francisco Bay Area residents who are enrolled in their test, that includes all the goods you're searching for, as Google is now testing a same day delivery service.
Google Shopping Express will put goods from a number of retailers, both national and local, on one website. Users can order these goods and expect delivery later that day. National retailers include Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys"R"Us/Babies"R"Us. Local shops around the Bay Area include San Francisco's Blue Bottle Coffee, Palo Alto Toy & Sport and Raley's Nob Hill Foods.
"So hopefully, no more trips across town for simple errands," reads a post on the Google Commerce blog. In addition to posting on the blog, Google is still looking for people to sign up for the limited test program. Those living in the San Francisco Bay Area can sign up here.
While the test is running, Google is still working on a long-term pricing plan. Early testers will get six months of free, unlimited same-day delivery. The service could cost between $64 and $69, Slashgear reported, and deliveries will be made from 10 am and 9 pm. The long delivery schedule accommodates a full day of ordering. Consumers can potentially place an order before they leave the office and get food or a movie to be enjoyed that evening.
The blog post from Google is confirmation, as rumors of a same-day delivery service were circulated earlier this month. Other businesses are getting in on the act. Wal-Mart said it would test lockers consumers can buy online and then pick up their items from. At an analyst day yesterday, eBay discussed eBay Now, a same-day delivery service in Chicago and Dallas this summer, TechCrunch reported. Google and other businesses, including eBay and Wal-Mart, are feeling pressure to compete with Amazon Prime, which provides free second-day shipping on purchases, among other services.
Google will not be the first to provide a same-day delivery service in a metropolitan area. New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other cities, have seen such services come and go. In the late 90s a service called UrbanFetch delivered everything from groceries and personal items to small electronics in New York City. While popular, the service eventually shut down, though others have tried to recreate something similar.
Some of these same-day delivery services have charged a premium on items, leading to a cost greater than competing retailers. It appears while participants will have to pay a subscription fee, items purchased will cost the same as the price charged by other retailers.
The service could become useful for delivery of regularly scheduled orders or even last-minute necessities. A family with an infant could schedule a delivery for diapers from Babies"R"Us, while a business could start a regular delivery of coffee or coffee supplies to keep its employees caffeinated.