Google Expands Its Shopping Express Service in San Francisco Bay Area
Product prices for the items ordered and delivered through the service are identical to prices that consumers will find in their local store, wrote Fallows. Shoppers can also add their retailer loyalty program numbers at checkout to take advantage of member prices. Deliveries can be scheduled from early mornings until 9 p.m., according to the program. "To make this all work, our engineers put their heads together to figure out the most efficient way to get all the packages delivered across town in the delivery windows promised," wrote Fallows. "And be sure to keep your eye out for our new hybrid fleet around town." Google is offering a free six-month membership with unlimited same-day delivery for users who sign up to try the service before Dec. 31, according to the post. 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.Not all of those efforts have been successful, however. In May, Google announced that it will end 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.