Rumor: Google Shopping Express will compete with Amazon Prime(Read article summary)
TechCrunch reports this week that Google is developing Google Shopping Express, a retail service offering same-day shipping, will compete with Amazon Prime. Google Shopping Express could cost between $64 and $69 a year, according to the rumor.
If youâve got an Amazon Prime account, you know thereâs a lot that $79 a year gets you. Access to a library of stream movies and TV shows, e-books that can be downloaded to your Kindle, and free two-day shipping on a hefty portion of the stuff Amazon sells. Now, according to a new rumor, Google is planning to launch a competing service thatâll cost a little less money -- maybe just $64 a year.
TechCrunchâs Alexia Tsotsis reports that âGoogle Shopping Expressâ is in development, and is being built to serve as a âfocal pointâ for the companyâs existing Google Wallet and Google Shopping services. Put simply, Google is already the first place many people go when theyâre researching a product -- and Google Shopping Express could be a way for the company to get a piece of the action when people do decide to buy. TechCrunch also notes that the service would do Amazon Prime one better in an important regard: it would offer same-day delivery from big retailers such as Target, Safeway, and Walmart.
This rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, of course, but itâs not far-fetched to imagine that Google would want to increase its e-commerce presence. And the rumor is reasonably detailed: TechCrunch says Tom Fallows, one of Googleâs e-commerce managers, is heading up the project and that Google employees are already âdogfoodingâ the service (testing it by using it for their own needs).
Itâs also worth mentioning that Google recently acquired two e-commerce companies: Bufferbox, a package-delivery service, and Channel Intelligence, a product-referral business. Bufferbox, which is based in Ontario, Canada, bills itself as a kind of parcel delivery alternative. Since lots of people arenât home to sign for packages, the company says, they can ship them to nearby pickup stations instead. The acquisition certainly gives Google the beginnings of a service that can ship things quickly, although BufferBox is geographically limited right now.
Channel Intelligence, on the other hand, is focused on the online side of things -- providing e-commerce software and services to make it easier for merchants to sell their products online. This includes a âwhere-to-buyâ feature that lets online shoppers know whether a brick-and-mortar store has the product theyâre looking for in stock.
This may be a side project, of course -- thereâs no guarantee Google will unveil Shopping Express anytime soon (or even at all). But taken together, the rumor and the companyâs recent acquisitions seem to suggest that Google is looking at ways to step up its commerce game.
Readers, whatâs your take? Does the idea of Google getting into the retail business seem far-fetched? Would you use Shopping Express? Let us know in the comments section below.