Google doesn’t just want you to search for products you want to buy anymore. It wants you to buy them with help from Google.
In a post on its official blog, Google announced that it is expanding its same-day shopping service, now known as Google Express, to Chicago, Boston and Washington D.C., adding another 7 million people to the 12 million people who have access to the service in Northern California.
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In addition to adding those three major markets, Google is adding a slew of new merchants to the service, including Stop & Shop in Boston, Giant Food in D.C. and Lux Roses, TigerDirect, Treasure Island Foods and Wrigleyville Sports in Chicago. That’s on top of other retailers, including Costco, Guitar Center, REI, 1-800-Flowers, Barnes & Noble and a host of others.
Google also noted that those in the Bay Area can now buy alcohol using Google Express, something that may differentiate itself from other same-day deliver services.
The cost of the service is competitive with Amazon Prime, which recently raised its price to $99 a year. For $95 a year or $10 a month, Google customers will get free same day delivery on orders over $15 and the ability to share the membership with another person in their households. There’s also the option to pay per order, at just $4.99 for same-day delivery.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sameer Samat, Vice President of Google Shopping, noted that the company is going to build this into a pretty large business, but would not confirm the $500 million figure that has been rumored about. He noted that at scale, the business can be “very attractive,” allowing Google to help consumers outside of just searching for products, and then buying them on Amazon, eBay or other shopping sites.
Samat noted that the aforementioned Amazon, as well as Alibaba are not rivals or competitors of Google, noting they have “really good partnerships” with both Amazon and Alibaba. He did however say that Google is approaching the shopping experience a little different from either of those companies, allowing the consumer a better experience, while helping keep them using Google’s products and services.
Google is just the latest in a line of companies who are trying to get into the same-day delivery service, with investors backing several start-ups, and publicly traded companies including eBay and Amazon, going after the market. Companies such as Instacart (backed by Andreesen Horowitz) and other smaller companies are expanding into a business that could be worth anywhere $425 million and $850 million, according to Boston Consulting, numbers that may make Google and its shareholders very happy.