In a bid to take a bigger bite out of Amazon’s business, this week Google is expanding its same-day delivery service.
If you didn’t know Google was in the delivery business, here’s the gist: In a handful of cities — now including Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. — you can buy stuff from brick and mortar stores and receive it the same day.
The service formerly known as Google Shopping Express, and formerly free, it will now be called simply Google Express. Members can pay $10 a month for unlimited same-day and overnight delivery on items costing more than $15.
Google used to be the go-to place for product research, says Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru.
“Amazon is now the primary place where consumers go when they are looking to research almost any product,” she says. “Google wants its crown back.”
In a speech in Berlin yesterday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt acknowledged as much.
“Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo,” he said. “But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon.”
Delivery is an expensive and labor-intensive business, though, says analyst Colin Gillis with BGC Financial. Another same-day delivery service, offered by eBay, has struggled to get off the ground.
“Either you hire an army of people to get these packages and to deliver them to your customers, or you outsource it to a carrier or logistics company,” Gillis says.
Then again, Forrester’s Mulpuru says Google is such a profitable company, it can afford to experiment.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.