January 27, 2014
Google is expanding the test of its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service by including company employees in the Santa Monica area. The test, which joins other similar programs such as eBay Now, Walmart to Go, and AmazonFresh, is an expansion of the pilot program it launched in the Bay Area last spring. Claiming it has received “great feedback” from shoppers and retailers in the San Francisco, Google has plans to eventually extend the service to the public.
“The rollout may follow the pattern Google used with its Northern California launch,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “When the program began in March, only Google workers and a select group of applicants were allowed to participate. But since September, customers from San Francisco to San Jose have been able to use Google Shopping Express.”
While Google did not announce which merchants would be involved in the Southern California test, there are more than 15 retailers participating in the Bay Area program, including Office Depot, Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.
Via the Google Shopping Express site, shoppers can pay shipping for each retailer or opt for a membership with unlimited same-day deliveries. Products are delivered in Google-branded Priuses and trucks driven by Google employees or trained third-party couriers.
“Many companies are watching their customers drift increasingly online to shop and are investing heavily in fulfillment centers and distribution networks,” notes the article. “Overall retail sales growth has been lackluster for the better part of a year, and the industry is hoping that Americans will spend more if shopping is made more convenient.”