According to the New York Times, Google is currently testing a service by which a customer can order an item on either a phone or regular computing device, and have it delivered to their location in a few hours’ time.
Same day shipping is something of a holy grail in retail, as it would dramatically cut down on the lag between ordering and that magical moment: getting the stuff you want.
According to the Times’ piece, a “national apparel chain” is taking part. Don’t be confused, however, as Google is not going to set up warehouses around the country. It appears to instead act as a middleman, in between retailers and delivery services. If that is the case, it will need to build its relationships business by business, and location by location. Translation: don’t expect this to be in your neighborhood soon.
Google Shopping recently went ad-only. Retailers that wish to be listed must pay, changing the dynamics of its relationship with brands. Best Buy was a Google Shopping launch partner; to see it taking part in this sort of service is hard to not find as a strong fit. However, that is conjecture for the moment.
Why Google would want to act as this sort of concierge isn’t exactly clear. However, as Amazon, and even the USPS tinker with same-day delivery, to see Google experimenting in the space – it does after all have a massive, if often indirect hand in online retail – is perhaps not surprising.
More as we have it.
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