Google Express: expanding the retail footprint of search giant

Search is Google’s business. It always was and always will be. Searching for product information before purchase is probably the most lucrative search activity there is driving customers to stores online.

Google makes money from those referrals when you click on their ads, or their shopping comparisons, but never from the actual searches. And they are not making money from Google Express right now, but they may do in the future.

The service has a 6 month free trial window now for select users, and is simply a Google add-on to your product searches, if you want to think of it that way.

Someone finds what they want to buy through Google, buys it, claims that they are too busy to pick it up themselves, and gets it delivered to their doorstep within a pre-designated time window determined by the user.

Eventually, Google will be able to refer your product searches and your shopping needs to a stores online and deliver them same day offline getting a hand in to the whole purchase process.

As for the stores, well, Google now has one step where it can help but also control the process: it gets you to your shop, and entices you with its delivery service to keep it in the family.

For retailers, the fact that they have a powerhouse like Google who is willing to build the infrastructure to do this kind of home delivery is going to make it easy for them to give up a little control. But, is it something they should embrace? Seems like an awful lot of Google all of the time.

Jenna Owens, General Manager of Operations, Google Shopping Express posted the news on a Google blog:

With Google Shopping Express, there are no surcharges or mark-ups, products cost exactly what they would in-store. You can also take advantage of in-store discounts and accrue loyalty points by providing your store rewards card information. 

For a limited time, we’re also offering shoppers six months of free, unlimited deliveries.* So order as much as you want, as often as you’d like. 

In the Los Angeles area, shoppers in Culver City, Inglewood, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, West Los Angeles, and Westwood can now shop from some of their favorite retailers like Costco, Guitar Center, L’Occitane, Smart & Final, Staples, Target, Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us, and Walgreens. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding delivery to other parts of Los Angeles, Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and West Hollywood. 

In New York, we’re starting with service to the entire island of Manhattan with Babies“R”Us, Costco, Fairway Market, L’Occitane, Staples, Target, and Walgreens. We’re also working to bring Shopping Express to shoppers in Queens and Brooklyn in the coming months.