Google is planning to compete with online retail giant Amazon by creating a service that would enable consumers to receive orders bought from participating websites within a day for a low fee.
The new service would rival Amazon’s one-day shipping option for Prime members, which launched in the US in 2005. This offers subscribers free two-day shipping or $3.99 overnight shipping on millions of items sold on the site, plus additional member benefits, for a flat fee of $79 per year. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is negotiating with major retailers and shipping couriers about the service:
Google is pushing back with the quick-shipping service, and some retailers are interested in signing up for it, said people familiar with the matter. They said Google has pitched the project to big retailers that it has teamed up with in the past, a group that includes Macy’s Inc., Gap Inc. and OfficeMax Inc.
Google wouldn’t sell the items directly like Amazon does, instead handling the delivery process through deals with companies like UPS and local couriers. It would meld its search engine’s product-search feature, which directs shoppers to participating retail websites, and offer its new quick-shipping service when a shopper is checking out. Google plans to start a pilot program soon and hopes to officially launch the service sometime next year.