That sound you hear is Google tiptoeing up to Amazon, ready to tap on its shoulder and be like, “Hey, I’m all up in your business.” The company has started testing a same-day delivery service called Google Shopping Express, which could help it move farther into the e-commerce world currently ruled by Amazon.
Google is trying to get back a piece of the business it’s been losing now that more consumers head directly to Amazon.com to search for what they want to buy, instead of Googling it and going to Amazon from there, notes Reuters.
Google Shopping Express would work thusly: Local stores advertise their products online, Google hooks them up with a third-party delivery service like a courier, who then picks up the items and delivers them to the customer in the same day. Google itself wouldn’t have a hand in deliveries, nor would the retailers, notes an anonymous source in touch with Reuters.
The testing has started in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been up and running for at least a month, reportedly. It’s unclear how Google would charge for the service — perhaps a subscription where users would pay a fee each year for free deliveries of certain items, with maybe a small fee on top of that each time a person orders something.
Experts think this is another step for Google toward creating its own online marketplace, much like Amazon’s and Ebay’s systems, where it would sell stuff for other merchants but use a network of local retailers to provide items to customers instead of fulfillment centers.