Google Shopping Express (GSE) started delivering daily necessities from local stores like Walgreens, Staples, Target etc, to the Bay area homes from September of 2013. In May of 2014 GSE expanded same-day delivery to Manhattan and West Los Angeles. This month, GSE added overnight delivery to areas across Northern California.
Customer using Google’s overnight delivery can order as late as 7pm and get the delivery the next day. While retailers like Amazon have been offering overnight delivery for a while now (in Washington DC, orders placed before 11am are eligible for same day delivery), this move shows that Google intends to place itself in direct competition with Amazon. With Google’s announcement that it plans to expand rapidly, we hope that Google Shopping Express will come to DC.
The latest GSE website update says that members get free, unlimited same-day deliveries, while non-members pay $4.99 per store used. As a way to encourage membership, GSE is offering a free 6-month trial memberships at the moment, along with $10 of credit towards the first order.
In our very own DC, when it comes to express delivery, the grocery delivery company Instacart has already made its presence felt in DC with a one to two hour delivery window from places like Whole Foods, Magruder’s, Costco and Yes! Organic Market. There are many differences between GSE and Instacart but one difference is that you can currently order from Costco via Instacart without a membership, however GSE requires a valid Costco membership for Costco deliveries. Such small differences will become crucial if and when GSE decides to enter the DC market.
Google’s move is part of a resurgence of express delivery services (same day or overnight) to cities across the US. Walmart offers same-day delivery service in limited areas in Northern Virginia (for example Manassas) as well as Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and the San Francisco area. Ebay Now offers delivery to Chicago, Dallas, and parts of New York City and the San Francisco area.
The latest move by Google Shopping Express to expand across the US is good news for American consumers and one more step in the direction of the new “instant economy”.