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.