Google Inc. is making same-day delivery an option for more consumers. The company says that it is expanding the same-day delivery service it launched in the San Francisco Bay area in March 2013 and known until now as Google Shopping Express to consumers in Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. Google also has rebranded the service as Google Express.
Consumers who use the service now have the option to sign up as a member or continue to pay a $4.99 fee per delivery. Members pay $95 annually or $10 a month for unlimited same-day or next-day deliveries on orders of $15 or more. Google says membership gets consumers first dibs on delivery windows. With the multi-city expansion, Google says the service is available to 7 million consumers.
With Google Express consumers shop the Google Express site for products available from select local retailers across the grocery, health and beauty, home, baby, toys and apparel categories. Google then gets those products from one of its participating retail stores and a courier delivers the order to the consumer. Recently added retailers include 1-800-Flowers (No. 65 in the 2014 Top 500 Guide, Barnes & Noble Inc. (No. 28), Nine West (a division of No. 200-ranked Jones Group), PetSmart (No. 362), Vitamin Shoppe (No. 207) and The Sports Authority Inc. (No. 262). Local retailers also participate, such as grocers Treasure Island Foods in Chicago and Stop & Shop in Boston. Consumers pay the same price on Google Express for products as they would in those stores, Google says.
Google also announced that customers in the San Francisco Bay area can now have alcohol delivered by Google Express.
Same-day delivery services for products ordered online but fulfilled at local retail stores are heating up. In addition to Google Express’ expansion, Whole Foods Market last month added same-day delivery options through delivery service Instacart to consumers in 14 cities. It first tested same-day delivery in Los Angeles this spring. Meanwhile, crowdsourced delivery service Deliv has raised $12.4 million from investors and aims to provide same-day delivery for apparel and home goods products, most bought from shopping mall locations.