MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (BRAIN) — Google Shopping Express, which launched Thursday, is a local delivery service the company hopes will make it possible for shoppers to get the items they order online a few hours later, and at a low cost.
It’s not quite, "click and hear a knock on your door with the products," but that is where Google is going. The kicker is consumers have to live in the San Francisco Bay Area to participate in the program. Google is testing the program there to figure out what same-day delivery entails, and costs, before rolling it out in other markets. For San Francisco shoppers participating in the limited-time program, same-day delivery is free.
Google has only released tentative information on googlecommerce.blogspot.com, but it appears people signing up for the program can shop from a variety of retailers from a single online shop. Participating retailers include Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys R Us/Babies R Us, as well as a few local San Francisco retailers like Blue Bottle Coffee, Palo Alto Toy & Sport and Raley’s Nob Hill Foods.
The company has not spelled out how it will be delivering products from retailers and to customers, but a photo announcing the program shows a happy Google-shirted driver with a bag of merchandise ready to hand over. The logo on the door of the car says, “Powered by a Google courier partner.”
Of course the company could use Google's driverless cars, or bicycle couriers, to cut costs further.