Competition is a great thing. It’s a big reason why the AT&T and T-Mobile acquisition is looking less likely to be approved. As long as there are multiple companies fighting over a section of the market, the more likely the customers are going to benefit from cheaper services and more options. We’re keeping that in mind while pondering what online shopping will be like if Google were to take on Amazon Prime. The Wall Street Journal says Google is in talks with retailers such as Macy’s, OfficeMax and Gap to offer a shipping service that could, in theory, offer same day delivery on items.
Unlike Amazon, Google won’t actually be selling or shipping anything. Instead, it’ll use existing services such as Google Shopper to determine if the item a customer wants is in stock locally. If it is in stock, the retailer could offer super fast shipping for going through Google. Google is also believed to be talking to shipping and courier services as well.
The motivation behind this is simple to understand. Google is no longer content with just helping people find products they want to buy. Google is essentially providing links (and therefore potential dollars) to retailers such as Amazon when people want to buy products. It’s gotten to the point where people search for products using Amazon instead of Google. Google wants to leverage all its relevant properties such as Google Wallet and Google Shopper to make online shopping through Google as convenient as performing a search.
If Google can provide a worthwhile alternative to Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping for $79 a year, it’ll gain credibility as a company that is involved during every step of an online transaction.