It is known that Google is planning to put considerable funding into expanding their fledgling same day grocery delivery service called Google Shopping Express. It now seems like their vision for a subscription service is getting a little clearer with a survey in email form that current users have begun receiving
Currently Shopping Express is available in it's seed city of San Francisco as well as Los Angeles and New York. Customers of the service place their order then Google sends out a contracted courier to put the order together at local retailers that Shopping Express has partnered with. The Courier could go to several markets that include Costco, Target, Staples, Toys R us, and Whole Foods. Once the stops are made the courier returns to a central packaging facility where the order is bundled and delivered same day. The fee if $4.99 per stop and almost anything from alcohol to toys can be ordered.
The survey that current users of the service were emailed contained questions regarding a tiered annual subscription program. Think like Amazon Prime and it's Prime Fresh membership. Amazon's Prime Fresh is available to certain California customers and cost $299 a year.
The question is, what customers think of a $90 per year fee that would include free shipping for orders of $15 or more that do not include produce or refrigerated goods. Orders need to meet a minimum of $150 for the produce and refrigerated items to be delivered for free. If the minimums are not met users would be charged $2.99 and $7.99 respectively.
With an investment of 500 million planned by Google it looks like things are starting to heat up. The same day shipping of perishables and other goods is a relatively untapped market and this pricing structure could be a glimpse into what things will look like, at least how Google plans to develop it.
The main goal is eyeballs and ad dollars that are generated by online shoppers. With the number of online purchases growing every day Google has a serious competitor in Amazon. With shoppers usually only using Google to search out an online retailer. With Google Shopping Express they would be able to keep those shoppers with them past a simple search.
Many questions remain regarding how Google Shopping Express will look when all is said and done. One of the biggest question would be to what extent does Google control the customer experience. Shopping Express partners are asked to take a large leap of faith that Google will take care of their current and potential customer base. A bad customer experience could put a negative Mark against Google and the Retailer since the customer will not know who is to blame.
One thing is for sure though is that I am one step closer to having Nachos, Candy Canes, a G.I. Joe, and some diapers delivered to my doorstep without me having to leave the couch.