When you want something quickly, Amazon is one of the best options for a fast delivery. But one other online giant is bringing its power to bear to try and compete.
Google wants to unseat the Seattle-based online retailer with Google Shopping Express (GSX), a rapid delivery service that offers users same-day delivery on a variety of products. While previously in an invite-only beta, Google has now opened up GSX to all eligible users in San Francisco, San Jose, and the surrounding area on the peninsula. Users can get free delivery for the next six months by signing up for the service now.
One of the key offerings from GSX is the ability to get groceries delivered from either Raley’s Nob Hill Foods (a Bay Area-based supermarket chain) or Whole Foods, putting it in direct competition with Amazon Fresh and a variety of other grocery delivery competitors.
But unlike other competitors like Instacart, Google’s offering also covers a wide variety of stores, including American Eagle, Blue Bottle Coffee, l’Occitane, Guitar Center and REI, which starts to overlap with certain parts of Amazon’s retail business.
Of course, relatively little is clear about the system’s non-promotional pricing. Google will probably recoup some of the costs for its fleet of branded Priuses through delivery fees, as well as an Amazon Prime-like subscription service. According to TechCrunch, the goal of the service is to be competitive with Amazon Prime on price.
Of course, other parts of Google’s portfolio could prove to be beneficial. If it could combine the delivery vehicles for GSX with its self-driving car technology, that could be a major boon to Google’s delivery system.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.