Google is expanding its same-day shopping service to New York and the Los Angeles area, the latest strategic move in the increasingly competitive market for express shopping and delivery via mobile apps and the web.
The expansion of Google Shopping Express, announced over the weekend, comes as Amazon adds new features to its same-day delivery service, seeking to appeal to its base of Amazon Prime subscribers, and a host of startups try to carve out their own niche by delivering food, groceries and pretty much anything else.
Google launched Shopping Express last year, starting in the San Francisco Bay Area, letting shoppers purchase items without markups from established retailers through its online portal, and have them delivered on the same day. The company is partnering with retailers including Target, Staples, Walgreens and Costco as it rolls the service out to Manhattan and Southern California cities of Culver City, Inglewood, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, West Los Angeles, and Westwood.
The search giant is offering six months of free deliveries to new users. After that, the service costs $5 for each store a courier visits.
The same-day delivery phenomenon actually extends back to the days of the dot-com boom, more than a decade ago, as companies including Kozmo and WebVan tried their hand at the market. The maturity of e-commerce rise of smartphone apps is one of the trends fueling the resurgence in recent years.
Amazon has separately been expanding its Amazon Fresh grocery ordering and delivery service, after years of testing in the Seattle region. The service went to San Francisco and Los Angeles last year and is expected to hit New York City next.