Google Shopping Express is a challenge to competitors such as Amazon.
Google has launched a same-day shopping and delivery service for residents of the Bay Area.
Dubbed Google Shopping Express, the platform includes products from big-box stores such as Target, Staples, and Walgreens, and smaller, boutique outlets such as Blue Bottle Coffee. Users will place an order, select a delivery window, and see the product on their doorstep the same day.
In a blog post, Tom Fallows, a director at Google Shopping Express, said Google was "still working out our long-term pricing plan." But beginning this week, testers will get free delivery for a full six months. Some caveats: You've got to live in or around San Francisco, and you'll have to fill out this online form in order to be selected. No word yet on when Google might attempt a wider roll-out of Shopping Express, but later this year seems like a safe bet to us.
So what's Google – which remains, with a few notable exceptions, mostly a Web services company – doing dabbling in delivery? Well, the short answer is that the Mountain View giant is attempting to head off similar ventures from its competitors. Amazon, for instance, has long sold and shipped a wide range of non-book items, from deodorant to trash bags and Ninja Blenders.