Google Expands Its Shopping Express Service in San Francisco Bay Area

Google's Shopping Express home delivery service, which lets online shoppers make purchases locally and have them delivered the same day, now reaches as far as San Jose.

Google is expanding its nascent Shopping Express home delivery service in San Francisco's Bay Area for the second time since it began in March, this time adding order deliveries as far away as San Jose.

The service expansion was announced in a Sept. 25 post by Tom Fallows, the product management director for Google Shopping Express, on the Google Commerce Blog.

"Earlier this year, we invited some Bay Area shoppers to help us test Google Shopping Express," wrote Fallows. "Today, we're excited to make Google Shopping Express available to everyone living or working in our Bay Area delivery zones, from San Francisco to San Jose. This new service brings the speed of the web to the real world by helping you shop your favorite local stores online—in a single place—and get what you need delivered the same day."

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 such as 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 service was then expanded in May as Google continued to test the platform and add more retailers and users. The expanded delivery service added some suburban neighborhoods outside San Francisco that Google initially didn't serve.

The latest expansion will fill in even more areas and serve more customers, according to Google.

Also being launched as part of the latest growth for the service are new Google Shopping Express mobile apps for both Android and iOS so that customers can make their purchases and receive product deliveries even when they are away from their homes or offices, 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 third-party couriers who will bring their packages and get their items delivered on the same day. Google continues to seek additional local retailers to join the program and add more shopping options for its online customers.

"Whether you've run out of something essential or need to get a last-minute gift, you can shop your favorite stores all in one place, and get everything delivered in just a few hours," wrote Fallows. Some of the new retailers that are now participating in the delivery service are DODOcase, Guitar Center, L’Occitane, REI and Whole Foods Market.