Google will now deliver groceries in just two hours, rolling out test markets
Alphabet's Google is testing a new service under Google Express that will deliver groceries in under two hours. The grocery delivery service, taking on Amazon and others, has launched in parts of California for testing.
Alphabet's Google is expanding Google Express with the addition of a grocery delivery service that will offer same-day delivery for produce, meat, eggs and other goods.
Google announced on Wednesday it will begin testing the service in parts of San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Internet search giant will be taking on Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Uber and other food delivery services.
Google will start in areas of LA including Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Venice, and Marina del Rey, and in San Francisco neighborhoods such as the Financial District, the Mission, and Potrero Hill, along with many others. It hasn't detailed a rollout plan for the rest of California or the rest of the country, but you can view a map of available areas.
Fresh grocery deliveries start at $2.99 for members ($95 per year) and $4.99 for everyone else. Members will get deliveries for free by the end of the day, while the $4.99 charge will have items delivered in two-hour windows, available every day.
With the launch of the new food delivery service, Google is raising the minimum size for an order including fresh groceries to $35, from $15.
"Everyone wants milk delivered with their cookies -- that's why we're excited to start adding fresh groceries to Google Express," said Prabhu Balasubramanian, Product Manager for Google Express, writing on the Google Commerce Blog. "Since we launched Express, you've ordered enough water to fill 10.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools and enough toilet paper to circle the earth 15 times,"
The premise of Google Express is simple, and something many other companies have attempted. Google simply partners with existing shops like Costco and Whole Foods and pays its drivers to bring it you. Uber is testing something similar with its vast network of drivers to deliver from restaurants.
Beyond groceries, Google has a vast store of products from several partner suppliers. The store's look and feel resembles an Amazon.com storefront, and purchases can be made from the web, as well as Android and iPhone apps. It would be interesting to see this feature in Google Now, the company's take on a voice assistant within Android.
If you're new to Google Express, Google says you can get a free 3-month trial membership, along with $15 off your first purchase.