Google Express, the home delivery service, is currently operating across a wide part of the Northeastern US and it is now launching in a number of new states in the Southeast and Northwest. Google Express will now be available in areas in Alabama, Kentucky, Utah, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, allowing the Amazon rival to reach 70 million more people.
With Google’s extended reach due to the new areas, Google Express now covers around 90% of the US! Google’s delivery service aims to rival Amazon Prime Now, the online retailer’s same-day delivery service.
Google’s point of difference is their retailer partnership. The online retailer is partnering with national retailers who either haven’t worked out their ecommerce proposition yet, or can only offer traditional delivery and not one-day delivery.
Google Express ditched plans earlier this year to offer grocery delivery as part of a shift in strategy, because by distancing itself from the more costly handling of fresh and frozen goods, the company is able to take its service nationwide. They are working with a wide range of brands including Costco, Whole Foods, Kohl’s, PetSmart, Sur La Table, Fry’s, Road Runner Sports, Walgreens, L’Occitane, Payless ShoeSource, and Guitar Center.
The other main difference between Google Express and Prime Now is the pricing.
Amazon makes same-day delivery a perk for its Amazon Prime members that requires customers to subscribe to Amazon’s $99 per year membership program. Google instead lets shoppers choose between buying a $95 annual membership or paying a delivery charge of $5 (or more, at times). Google Express shoppers also have to abide by store minimums, which are typically around $15 but can be as high as $35.
Amazon has become the top destination for shopping searches which may have sparked Google’s interest in entering the online retail world! A recent survey found that 55% of U.S. online shoppers now begin product searches directly on Amazon, while search engines like Google and Yahoo saw declines. Only 28% are now starting shopping searches on Google, down from 34% the year prior.