Google today announced it is expanding its pilot of the BufferBox service, which is already available in Toronto, to San Francisco. The move means the city’s online shoppers can receive their purchases by picking them up on their own time.
Google acquired BufferBox back in November 2012 for an undisclosed sum. The Waterloo-based startup and Y Combinator alumnus specializes in parcel delivery through dedicated physical lockers, meaning it lets you avoid the typical failed delivery notices that plague the likes of FedEx and UPS.
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If you’ve ever had to deal with a delivery guy who knocks softly and then immediately disappears into thin air, this description of how the Google service works will sound like music to your ears:
With BufferBox, you can order from your favorite online retailers and have items delivered to a convenient BufferBox kiosk in your local coffee shop, supermarket, or retail store. You’ll receive an instant email notification when your parcel is ready for pickup.
You might be wondering why Google picked San Francisco for its expansion; the most likely reason is that the company last week opened up its Google Shopping Express service to the whole city. Today’s announcement means you can now enter your BufferBox Address as your shipping address when checking out on Shopping Express.
Google is pushing same-day delivering in its latest push to compete with Amazon and eBay. Selecting the 9am-1pm delivery window on BufferBox will let San Francisco residents collect their items later that same evening.
If you’re in San Francisco, you can find BufferBox kiosks at partner locations such as Dogpatch Cafe, Coffee Bar, Noe Hill Market, 7-Eleven, and so on. Google says it plans on “integrating the service further, expanding to more locations, and sharing more news soon.” We’ll keep you posted as BufferBox grows in importance from a small Canadian startup to a key property in Google’s shopping onslaught.
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