Google to challenge Amazon with 1-day shipping service (rumor)

Summary:Amazon Prime's 2-day shipping may be tough to beat but Google is shopping around some ideas with select retailers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Not contend with letting Amazon own the online shopping space, Google is apparently "in talks" with retailers like Macy's, Gap and Office Max to offer one-day shipping service that rivals the convenience of Amazon Prime, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The search giant has no ambition to open a digital storefront to sell HDTVs and digital cameras direct to you, but wants to make use of its vast data-set to improve shipping so you don't have to wait for an out-of-state shipment when there is stock in a local store:

The quick-shipping service would be based on Google's behind-the-scenes system that allows shoppers to figure out whether nearby stores have a product in stock and whether they can get that product shipped to them within a day. When shoppers place an order on participating retailers' sites, Google's system could kick in to offer them the option of same-day or next-day delivery, said a person familiar with the matter.

I'm all for getting my online purchases faster and smarter, so kudos to Google for exploring the possibilities with mass retailers with brick-and-mortar stores. But is a re-imagining of shipping in addition to Google Music and Google Books enough to help Google take on Amazon?
Amazon has had 17 years (since 1994) to convince shoppers to buy from its site, so it's no wonder many people now turn to Amazon first when looking for product details (and possibly reviews), as told to WSJ by ComScore. Combine that consumer confidence (not to mention web traffic) with the perks of the Amazon Prime membership -- free 2-day shipping on most purchases, unlimited streams of movies and television shows (Prime Instant Video), as well as the free borrowing of e-books from Amazon for $79 per year -- Amazon's seamless offerings are simply tough to beat.

Of course, Amazon doesn't carry every single item there is on this planet so there is room for Google to improve shipping and online shopping for the rest of the Internet. Whether Google is interested in replacing Amazon as the online retail king, or try to take back some of the ad revenues it has lost to Amazon's website for product-related searches, competition between the two Internet brands will only benefit consumers.

[Source: Wall Street Journal,]

Topics: Amazon, Google


Gloria Sin is a New York-based freelance journalist who writes about the tech toys that you can't live without for ZDNet. She has little patience for poorly designed user experiences, and is not afraid of opening the guts of her own machines for repair or hacking her gadgets for new uses.She has written for, Popular Scienc... Full Bio

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