Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Google pilot testing to compete with Amazon Prime

I'm in the midst of wrapping up final Christmas gift-giving details. With the added lead-time needed to send a care package to Korea, boxes are landing on my doorstep daily.

As I mentioned in my last blog, online shopping is a great way to avoid exposure to all kinds of germs. My personal reasons go beyond that. I prefer to avoid as much of the commercial holiday rush as possible. A recent trip to a well-known super store (after Christmas lights for our house, along with a few groceries) left me feeling exhausted. Why deal with that when I can get what I need with a few clicks from the comfort of my home computer, iPhone, or Kindle Fire? Online shopping does lack the thrill of instant gratification, but with Amazon Prime patience is quickly rewarded.

Next Christmas, Amazon's Prime service could have some hefty competition. Google appears to be feeling out various retailers to create a service to let customers receive their orders within 24 to 48 hours. Under the proposed system, when shoppers place an order on an affiliate's website, Google's system could kick in to offer them an option for same-day or possibly next-day delivery. I have used Google check-out on occasion, so I can imagine this being offered as an additional drop-down on the shipping options menu. Pilot testing of the new service is anticipated to begin sometime in 2012.

I'm all for a new shipping option. I hate paying shipping fees, but whatever Google offers will have to be both affordable and easy to use. Amazon already has a considerable lead in the ease-of-use category, particularly with their recent Kindle Fire release. It will be hard for any company to compete, but if anyone can, Google is it.

What do you think of Google's plans? What conditions would they have to meet for you to use their quick shipping service?

No comments:

Post a Comment