Google plans to expand Shopping Express, take on Amazon

GoogleSources inside Google have claimed that $500 million has been allocated to Shopping Express to expand the service nationwide within the US. Though they haven’t confirmed the figure, Google has confirmed the plan.

Amazon is the go-to for pretty much any online shopping. With their Prime service, they managed to target consumers in a way that has made them the dominant force in the internet’s market. To the point where people are now turning to them for groceries, monthly subscriptions for household items, and a lot more.

Google is facing a dilemma in more ways than one. First, they have been trying to crack into the shopping niche for years, without much success beyond general comparison features. Second, they are experiencing a loss in ad revenue as more people go straight to Amazon for product searches, and skip Google all together.

In 2013, the company sought to eliminate this gap by launching their own (limited) delivery service. Shopping Express allows users in certain areas to buy goods from local vendors, which Google then ships the same day.

Never heard of it? Not surprising, given how small the delivery area currently is. But like Google Fiber, they are slowly rolling out their services to a wider selection of cities.

If the amount is true, and $500 million really has been set aside in the budget for development, it won’t be long  before Shopping Express grows. And while Amazon is an online marketplace. Google would offer something different: the ability for local vendors to outreach in their community.

This has been a focus for Google in many of their projects, which provide small businesses a platform for attracting local customers. Patronage could increase for many, if Shopping Express came to their town.

Hopefully for Google, this venture is more successful than Google Wallet has been. The payment service has had lackluster returns as people continue to use online banks like PayPal and Stripe. Considering the privacy anxiety, the fact that people don’t want to handle financial details over to Google could have probably been predicted.

But this is something new, and the concept helps to fulfill a real need in the market. At least on the local level, if not on a national one.

As for Amazon, somehow I doubt they are feeling the heat too badly. They have grown so huge, and become such a staple of online culture, that it is doubtful that they will have to relinquish their corners of the market.

Source: Recode

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