This isn’t a big deal. It’s nothing new from a retail perspective and most will wonder what took Google so long to take advantage of their size and reach to take business from formerly-non-competitor Amazon and other online sales and delivery services. What most won’t realize is that this is another step towards world domination that should have investors betting even higher on Google and that should tell everyone that Google’s ownership of the world wide web is moving into ownership of the world wide real word.
Google is now testing Google Shopping Express in the San Francisco area. Beta testers on both the consumer and retailer side will get to taste the effectiveness of offering goods online to be delivered from local retailers to subscribers of the service. While this beta is free, some are speculating that it will be a service that hits consumers for $50-$100 a year, a mild price considering the convenience that is being offered.
Those in San Francisco will be able to order goods from Walmart, Target, Staples, American Eagle, Toys“R”Us, Office Depot, San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee, Raley’s Nob Hill Foods, and Palo Alto Toy & Sport. The items they order will be delivered same-day via nifty Google delivery trucks.
The cost savings, considering gas and time, are big. The convenience – unquestionable. As someone who orders toilet paper from Amazon and visits stores only when absolutely necessary, I can tell you that this will be something that I’ll enjoy despite the fear of how this can collapse many portions of the world’s economy. It changes things for Amazon and eBay. It changes things for pizza and other traditional delivery-based companies. It affects shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. It may affect small local retailers, though Google is opening up to take applications from retailers of all sizes and has already added some local companies to the mix.
It can affect the car business, energy business, and anyone who relies on consumer transportation. All in all, the effects will be far reaching. Individually, the effects will be small. Google isn’t going to really hurt anyone measurably with this other than Amazon. However, it does change the way we think about services, goods, and convenience. It makes us lazier. It makes us make decisions based upon delivery conveniences. It amplifies Google’s already-high level of control over our lives.
This won’t hit anyone’s alarm zone other than Amazon and similar online retailers, but it will change things for all of us. The only question is whether or not this will be a good change or not.
According to Alexia Tsotsis from Techcrunch.
I for one am excited about the prospect of getting my Blue Bottle when I want it, and would be chuffed to be part of the Google beta test assuming it’s delivering hot, fresh coffee and not just bags of beans. Something tells me I won’t however, and I have no idea how Google will be on-boarding its testers today.
At least someone else is pumped about this.