Google to Expand Same-Day Delivery in San Francisco Bay Area

The Google package delivery pilot program, which began in March, is expanding, according to a report.

Google's 2-month-old pilot project to provide same-day delivery service for online shoppers in some areas of San Francisco is apparently being expanded to more Bay Area neighborhoods.

The Google Shopping Express service, which was unveiled at the end of March in select areas, will now be available across the entire Bay Area, according to a May 23 report by Mashable that was based on anonymous sources.

The expanded delivery service will be "filling in many of the suburban areas outside San Francisco that Google initially left out at launch," according to the story. "Google will start accepting sign-ups for beta testers in the additional neighborhoods later this week or early next week."

Google did not immediately respond to an eWEEK request for comment about the report.

Mashable reported that its source said the nascent delivery service has "been doing well enough and worked out the kinks to expand a little more," while the number of orders per day is steadily increasing as has the team of third-party delivery people and services that are carrying out the deliveries.

Google began its pilot for the service in late March to collect customer reaction and see how it would work on a small scale to start. The idea was to allow online shoppers to make purchases locally and then have them delivered quickly and at low cost.

Included in the initial pilot were national chain stores including Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys 'R Us/Babies 'R Us, as well as smaller local retailers like San Francisco's Blue Bottle Coffee, the Bay Area's Palo Alto Toy & Sport and Raley's Nob Hill Foods.

The initial pilot area included the city of San Francisco and the peninsula from San Mateo to San Jose. The program is initially free for participants in the pilot, but will feature delivery charges in the future.

Test participants must be at least 18 years old to participate. By signing up as testers, participants receive emails featuring product promotions, new merchant additions and other details about the program, according to Google.

To use the service, shoppers can browse the Websites of participating stores, make their item selections, provide personalized delivery instructions for the couriers who will bring their packages and get their items delivered on the same day. Google is continuing to seek additional local retailers to join the program and add more shopping options for its online customers.