Shopping Express, Google's same-day delivery service is now available in Manhattan and West Los Angeles. The project was first set up last year in San Francisco and it is already competing against other same-day delivery services like AmazonFresh. Unlike Fresh, Shopping Express relies on retail stores to provide the products.
This expansion comes just a few days after Amazon made headlines because of its expansion of same-day delivery, which facilitates the shipment of significantly more products than Google Shopping Express. Amazon's expansion, combined with its Fresh service, means that Google has a major competitor in all of its markets. AmazonFresh offers free same-day and early morning delivery on orders over $35 on more than 500,000 Amazon items, including fresh grocery and local products.
The Same Markets
Amazon's general same-day delivery and its Fresh service have expanded to numerous metropolitan areas. While Fresh is only available in Southern California, Seattle, and San Francisco, same-day delivery is offered in even more areas. As a result, Google's same-day service is being offered in exactly the same markets as Amazon's services.
The Fresh and Google Shopping Express services are very similar. Prices are nearly identical on most products, but there is one thing that separates them. AmazonFresh ships out a greater variety of products and it does so without working with retail stores. On the other hand, Google relies on stores like Target and Walgreens, thereby acting as middleman. Because of that Amazon could potentially become the grocery store of the future, whereas Google is still working with established businesses.
An Odd Decision
As great as the expansion of Google Shopping Express may be for the people using it, the service itself doesn't seem make a lot of sense on the surface. A search giant that has always worked in the high-tech and consumer electronics industries suddenly delivering groceries is raising some eyebrows.
We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his opinion on the same-day food delivery service. He agreed that it does seem odd given how Google's service operates. However, he told us that it is also difficult to figure out Google's actual business strategy.
"So why is Google expanding their Shopping Express service? Amazon.com already sells and delivers to customers worldwide. So it makes sense for Amazon.com to explore different ways to deliver," said Kagan. "Are they planning on moving into the shopping industry and competing with Amazon.com? Many say no, but then again many said no when Apple launched their iPhone as well."