Google to Expand Same-Day Delivery in San Francisco Bay Area
The fledgling Google delivery service was first rumored in early March as a way for the search giant to expand more into the turf of online retailer Amazon.com. Under the program, Google has arranged for third parties, such as couriers, to pick the products up from local stores and deliver the items to shoppers. Google is always looking for ways to expand its markets, and the retail world is closely aligned with its search services as consumers go to Google to search for products, which they then purchase elsewhere. The concept of expanding its reach into retail sales could help Google close that gap.Not all of those efforts have been successful, however. Just this week, Google announced that it is ending its Google Checkout service on Nov. 20. Since its creation in 2006, Checkout has allowed customers to make purchases of services or physical goods from online vendors, but it has apparently outlived its usefulness for the search giant because of a lack of satisfactory demand. Instead, Google is expanding its related Google Wallet payment services that can be used for online apps and other purchases, but not for the payment of physical goods from Websites. The planned demise of Google Checkout comes after the search giant wasn't able to make it as popular as the dominant online payment vendor, PayPal. Same-day delivery service certainly isn't an invention of Google. In October 2009, Amazon launched same-day delivery services in seven major U.S. cities as it expanded its buying options for its customers. This is not the first time that Google has dabbled with the idea of same-day delivery. The idea has at least been in discussions since late 2011, when the company began its Google Product Search service.
Google certainly has been experimenting with e-commerce for a long time, with its Google Payments, Google Wallet and Google Checkout products. In February, Google bolstered its online sales capabilities by acquiring Channel Intelligence, which lets consumers buy products directly through product pages on Websites. One of the company's products, its Buy Now app, shows potential buyers a dynamically updated list of online retailers that have an advertised product in stock, where the consumer can purchase the item instantly with a click.