Google Express launched today in the Greater Boston area, and will attempt to cash in on those who aren’t convinced Amazon Prime is the way to go. While Amazon has had great success with the shipping venture, Google is looking to cash in, in a rather unique way.

Google will be offering a service which will deliver products from participating merchants within hours of order. Instead of getting the usual next-day shipping that most are accustomed to, Google is going to attempt to win over individuals and small business owners by making the wait time even less.

Thus far, 8 companies have jumped on board with Google in the area on this brand new service. Some of the companies that will be partnered with Google in their Express venture are Babies R Us, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Guitar Center, L’Occitane, Staples, Stop & Shop, Walgreens, and is expecting many more retailers to join as time goes on.

Google also expects to expand the delivery areas as time goes on, and they’re offering a very competitive rate to those who fall within the delivery areas. One year will cost $95, or $10 a month, and will make any purchase made over $15 free to be shipped. The second method Google will be using to pay for the service will be a $4.99 charge per shipment, instead of the yearly membership, should that method be more effective for individuals vying for the service.

Amazon has been offering same-day deliveries since 2009, and the cost is $5.99 per order for subscribers to Amazon Prime and $8.99 per order for non-subscribers. The caveot being that there is a $.99 charge, per item that is added on to the total. Also, the two will be competing for different types of customers – in terms of how they execute. Google is partnering with stores while Amazon is just working from their own warehouses as they always have.

If you’re looking for reasons to use Google instead of Amazon though, you won’t have to look far to find them. The membership is simpler, in terms of use and cost. Sign up, and you won’t be charged a per item fee, unless you opt out of the yearlong membership.

That said, it’s also cheaper. Paying $10 a month, if you’re frequently receiving shipments from the area, is a steal. Additionally, for those who want to purchase locally, though the businesses they’re working with are anything but “Ma and Pop” establishments, your orders will be picked up, and filled in local stores, rather than a massive warehouse – that could be anywhere. That would make exchanging items incredibly easy, should an exchange need to happen.

Also, the final and possibly best – long term benefit – would be associated with Google’s overall presence in the tech space. To some it may be overwhelming, but if we’re talking about deliveries via drones, or driverless cars – which may sound futuristic now – it’s something that Google could have the knowhow, and ability to make happen down the road. Right now, we’re talking about traditional deliveries, but as far as a tech giant – Amazon only recently got into the smartphone business. So, they’re considerably further back than Google.



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