In the ongoing war for your money, Google is reported to have been subtly building an alternative to Amazon Prime. Reportedly named “Google Shopping Express”, the service will be offered at $64-69 annually, making it about $15 cheaper than Amazon Prime. So far, so good!
The service is also alleged to offer shipping from brick and mortar stores like Target and Walmart. According to TechCrunch, Tom Fallows is heading the project. Mr. Fallows is an e-commerce manager at Google, and the project is meant as a focus for Google’s e-commerce initiatives like Google Wallet and Google Shopping. The project makes sense, as people often look to Google search to find products they’re interested in. Having those products shipped the same day from a nearby retailer would only make life more convenient.
Google has made moves toward physical commerce previously, with their acquisition of BufferBox, a Canadian parcel locker service. If Google intends to offer a same-day shipping service, they could leverage BufferBox as a means to get your stuff to you. Then again, that’s a huge undertaking to roll out nationwide, and is not necessarily as convenient as Amazon Prime’s delivery-to-your-door method.
This service sounds like jelly on toast, but Google is famously poor at e-commerce. The Nexus 4 debacle still stings, and the Play Store is still not as good as their online competitors. While that’s not what we’re discussing here, it’s our shining example of how Google approaches e-commerce. Can they turn it around? Of course!
If Google intends to challenge Amazon Prime, they’ve a long way to go. Customer service is a paramount concern for consumers, and even as a middle-man shipping option, Google will need that critical service to be perfect.