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Google plans to offer Amazon Prime-style membership, extend Express Shopping nationwide

Google let some light shine on its plans for its budding retail service Express Shopping. A company executive revealed that Google set aside half a billion to expand the service across the US, and that a yearly subscription plan similar to Amazon Prime is in the works.
By
July 7, 2014
google express shopping

Google let some light shine on its plans for its budding retail service Express Shopping. A company executive revealed that Google set aside half a billion to expand the service across the US, and that a yearly subscription plan similar to Amazon Prime is in the works.

Talking to Re/code, the head of Google Shopping Express Tom Fallows said Google wants to democratize same-day delivery, an area where Amazon is currently the undisputed leader, hinting that Google will ask a lower flat-fee than the $99 per year that Amazon takes for Prime.

[quote qtext=”We intend this to be an affordable service that as many people as possible can adopt,” he said. “We are trying to democratize the world of same-day delivery.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

For $99/year, Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping on many products, as well as access to a number of free ebooks, streaming movies, and – since last month – a music streaming catalog.

It’s not clear from Re/code’s report whether Google will offer digital content with its own subscription service, though the company has a large catalog of apps, music, movies, books, and magazines that it could bundle with the service.

Google did not say when it wants to launch the new service.

Google Shopping Express
Google Express shopping can choose a variety of items from Costco and other large retailers

Google Express Shopping lets users order merchandise from partnering retailers, including Target, Costco, and Whole Foods, and have it delivered at home the same day. Unlike Amazon, Google does not have its own infrastructure of warehouses and shipping vehicles, meaning that it relies on partners for the storage and delivery of goods. Shoppers pay a commission for each order, with a small fee added if the order involves merchandise from different stores.

Currently, Express Shopping is available in areas in and around San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. According to Re/code’s sources, Google wants to spend up to $500 million to extend the availability of Express Shopping nationwide, money that will go towards marketing, setting up a fleet of delivery vehicles, and paying drivers and workers.

“We think that helping close the loop on locally available items is a really important part of making sure Google is the best place to shop,” Fallows said, suggesting that Google may one day show notifications to users searching for a product that is available on Express Shopping with same-day delivery.

Would you be interested in a Prime-style subscription service from Google? How much would you be willing to pay per year?