Let's face it, we have found new ways of doing things in our hectic world today – gone are the 'good old days' when the traditional family had a stay-at-home Mom that took care of the cooking, the cleaning, and the shopping while Dad was at work and the kids were at school. In today's world, there are more opportunities for women and the need for two incomes is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. After working all day and all week, the last thing we want to do is to do out and fight the crowds shopping. This is where Amazon Prime and eBay came in to fill a need – because not only do we not want to go shopping, we do want the goods as soon as possible and preferably the same day…we all love that instant gratification. Google has been experimenting with their own free program last year in the San Francisco area called Google Shopping Express to make same day shopping a reality.
In a notoriously tricky, risky, and low-margin business, Google has had their growing pains – like delivering one tube of toothpaste or a can of soda in a full-sized shopping bag. Amazon and eBay have the 'kinks' worked out, but many others have tried and failed, like Webvan, who was bled dry of millions of dollars. With $50 billion in cash, Google has the money and time to work out their problems and online shopping is one area that Google would love to dominate…this would help them expand at what they do best – advertising. With Android, Google already has the search capabilities on most mobile devices and Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation.
The past year of testing and working out their problems has unfazed Google – they ramped up their white and blue Priuses and vans to expand to Los Angeles for a limited trial run and are considering moving on to New York City. Tom Fallows, director of product management for Google Shopping Express said:
"Same-day delivery doesn't have to be a luxury. It's a convenience that everyone should be able to enjoy, and that means across lots of stores, across lots of cities and across lots of products. We are eagerly starting to move forward on some of our next steps for expansion."
Google is also looking into ways to deliver perishable groceries such as milk and eggs that require temperature controlled delivery, but something that Amazon does with their Fresh Service. Google admits it is a business that will take some time to turn a profit in – but think of the 'advertising leads' they could get from knowing what their customers are ordering. For now, their customers are not charged for the service, but the businesses pay a small percentage for each sale, however, once Google perfects the service there will most likely be a small service or subscription fee.
eBay, with services now in San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and Dallas, charges $5 per order to deliver goods within one to two hours. Amazon charges an annual fee of $299 for Prime Fresh that allows customers to order anything from milk to a digital camera with free same-day delivery on orders more than $35. Amazon covers Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Amazon also has a separate service, Local Express, that lets Prime members in ten U.S. cities pay $3.99 per item for same day delivery.
Google looks at this as another way to make their search engine more powerful by integrating home delivery – you search for an item and see an ad that lets the customer order something with home delivery available. It seems that customers are really taking to the idea, but sceptics believe that Google will have to start charging a fee or requiring a minimum order amount. There are business owners that have had their business increase due to the service, so much so, that it pays them to bring an extra person in just to handle the Google driver pickups.
What do you think about home delivery – would you be willing to pay a small fee to get your items delivered the same day to your house. Hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know how you feel about it and CLICK HERE to view the App.