Google to rival Amazon Prime with one-day delivery service

By on December 2, 2011, 2:00 PM

Google is said to be negotiating with major retailers and shipping couriers to create a service that would rival Amazon’s Prime one-day shipping option. The search giant could even offer same-day delivery on certain items, effectively one-upping Prime, according to sources familiar with the plans as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Google’s service wouldn’t see them selling items directly like Amazon does, but rather allow them to handle the delivery process through deals with companies like UPS and local couriers. When a shopper is checking out at a participating retailer, their system would kick in and offer expedited delivery services.

Sources claim that Google has pitched the idea to Macy’s, Gap and OfficeMax but none of the aforementioned companies would comment on the story.

Amazon Prime launched in the US in 2005. For a flat fee of $79 per year, subscribers can opt for free two-day shipping or $3.99 overnight shipping on millions of items sold on the site. Additional Prime member benefits include access to streaming movies and TV shows at no additional cost as well as access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, a program that allows Kindle owners to “borrow” books for free for a full month with no due date.

The service has seen tremendous success since its introduction for a number of reasons, especially around the holidays. Many consumers simply don’t want to get out and fight the large crowds that invade brick and mortar stores nor do they want to pay local taxes on big-ticket items. Shopping at home eliminates both scenarios but buyers also don’t want to wait a week or longer for their items to arrive.

Google plans to start a pilot program soon with hopes to launch the service sometime next year. There’s no word yet on how much the service would cost if billed annually like Prime.

Shopping image from Shutterstock.

User Comments: 10

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amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Both companies are very successfull now but are starting to have trouble fitting thier heads through thier own doors.

You can only get soo big before you start to fall like a rock.

The world ain't that big.

Lets hope ego and greed don't infect Google and Amazon like they did Sony and Nvidia, two company's that paid dearly for it.

Guest said:

Sounds promising, but Googlealso needs to develop a shopping site that is as easy to navigate as Amazon's is. The shopping experience at Amazon is top notch, easy to get through and find things, easy and fast to check out. At this point, any Google Shopping needs to be revamped.

GSystems said:

Would be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Although I enjoy Google and am an Amazon Prime Member, I find it hard for Google to be able to produce a marketplace as intuitive as Amazon's. Google Shopping and Amazon (the #1 internet retailer) may have a small battle. However, given Google's track record of poor customer service (specifically in regards to their poor showing with the Nexus One), and Amazon's excellent--though outsourced--customer service, that alone will probably keep many Prime Members shopping on Amazon...including me.

I don't mind Google's Services--I use many of them; would like to start using Google's Business Applications in the near future for my small business, but I think they should leave the shopping to Amazon. Don't get me wrong: competition is necessary in an open, free marketplace--but in this case, maybe Google should've acquired someone like Overstock or something of this type if their goal is to compete with an online retailers shipping costs. It would take one helluva feat to convince me to abandon my $3.99/item one-day-shipping through Amazon.

Google may be willing to run at a loss until Amazon raises prices, but I believe that will be one crazy wait...

I must commend Google for doing the New-American thing...trying to stay relevant in different industries, but I think they might want to focus a bit more on reviving their phone division and truly solidifying contracts with more than one carrier...

Let's see how it pans out...

dedparrot said:

if they're trying to compete directly with amazon, google has no chance.

though this seems as if it won't be competing with amazon. amazon is a website that sells everything, google is planning to implement their checkout service on various websites. the two aren't even alike.

Guest said:

There's a rumour that Apple will be introducing "Proactive Shipping" as a free service with the release of the iPad 3 in March of 2012. Once signed up, you will be sent the latest iWhatever whenever it is released. Included with this at no extra charge will be the automagical delivery of a number of other specially hand-picked Apple items at random times whenever your credit card has sufficient space.

Also around the same time it is expected that Siri will be taking over all aspects of customer support and is predicted to be running the company by 2013.

Guest said:

whats better is both companies have enough money sitting around to start their own shipping branch =P

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Shipping is to high and to slow if you don't opt for payment subscription to get your items to you faster. I am not paying more for this service. They should do it anyway. You pay a premium for this subscription with Amazon. Amazon chooses to use USPS, Laser then to use UPS and FedEx. They use UPS and FedEx on the more expensive orders. USPS is so slow and Laser tracking it not that great. If google gets into the mix they need to stick with a faster shipping vendor and lower prices across the board!

Guest said:

" The search giant could even offer same-day delivery on certain items, effectively one-upping Prime"

How exactly does this one up Prime? Amazon currently offers same say delivery on items if ordered before 8am, and assuming they have it locally.

GSystems said:

dedparrot said:

if they're trying to compete directly with amazon, google has no chance.

though this seems as if it won't be competing with amazon. amazon is a website that sells everything, google is planning to implement their checkout service on various websites. the two aren't even alike.

I like that perception (which is probably a lot closer to reality than my argument--which is based off of the article), but I think it still amounts to the same quagmire of sorts.

To me, there's Amazon, then everybody else. Unless the other major retailers (e.g. Best Buy, Walmart, Target) decide to concede their internet accounting to Google, who else is Google going to get with to convince avid Amazon users to shop elsewhere?

This is another reason that I brought up their customer service. Google could potentially contract with Newegg...ummm...did I say Best Buy? This is my point, actually. With Amazon being number one, even stating that Google could be in the same ballpark (per the article, really) is horridly misleading.

GSystems said:

Another thing...just to kind of drive my point home:, which sells refurbished and new computer parts and other electronic supplies partners with Amazon's payment system. This is Google's angle, I'm sure (as you inferred)...

However, if Google starts a sort of arms race against Amazon, I don't see it ending well for Google. Amazon has worked years to get its loyal consumer base. I find myself telling others about Amazon's services on a regular basis (should get paid for this, really). Google would have to have an awesome customer service department, flawless transaction capabilities (which shouldn't be too hard considering their massive server farms/data centers), and somehow hope that they offer better service for retailers...all while providing access to lower prices and better quality products.

It's quite the challenge, I'm sure. I would just hate to see Google's other expertise (cloud based services) fall by the wayside because of this endeavor. I like Google. They're awesome to me. Google Chrome, their online services (e.g. GMail, Google+, Google Calendar) are all awesome and continually developing. best friend for the last two years...and the integration of all of these services in such a seamless fashion are Microsoft's envy (shown in their latest pushes to have everything incorporate around WP7).

All I'm saying is that they might want to try a different way to break into other resource streams.

I do like that they are going other routes than advertising. Hopefully this will minimize the potential of Google Chrome becoming a full fledged advertisement campaign. If that were to happen, I would probably switch to Comodo Dragon or SR Ironware (the sync'ing of bookmarks, extensions, etc. across multiple computers has made its way into being a necessity in my work and home life).

Let's see how it plays out, I guess...

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