December 24, 2014
Google is becoming a major player in same-day package deliveries, taking on the likes of Amazon and eBay this holiday shopping season. The Google Express service — currently available in cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — handled 50 percent more toys during the two weeks after Thanksgiving, while book sales jumped more than 30 percent. Analysts estimate that up to 40 percent of Google’s core search business is tied to e-commerce.
Analysts also suggest that the company needs to defend its turf as shopping via mobile devices grows increasingly popular.
“As more people shop on the Web and on their mobile devices, they’re bypassing Google and going straight to Amazon and other online retailers to find merchandise, robbing Google of an opportunity to make money by showing advertisements alongside search results,” reports Bloomberg.
According to Forrester Research, the percentage of shoppers who began their search with Amazon for online purchases doubled in Q3 to 39 percent from 2009.
Google Express launched as a free test feature last year. The service recently added Boston, Chicago and Washington to existing regions, including LA, New York and Northern California.
“Google also started charging shoppers $95 a year or $10 a month for unlimited deliveries or $4.99 per eligible order,” Bloomberg notes. “Same-day or overnight shipping for orders of more than $15 is free for members.”
Costco, PetSmart, Staples, Target and 1-800-Flowers are among the 40 retailers that sell goods through Google Express.
Google Wants to Take Credit When You Buy Something in a Store, Quartz, 12/22/14
Google Shopping to Counter Amazon, The Wall Street Journal, 12/15/14
Etsy Explains its Wholesale Approach to its Future Business, Wired, 12/9/14
Who Needs Amazon or Wal-Mart? China Cuts Out the Middleman, The Wall Street Journal, 12/18/14