The New York Times reports that Google is currently testing a same-day delivery service in San Francisco. The company is one of many working to offer same-day delivery including Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, seemingly trying to drive out local retailers who don't have the resources to compete.
According to the report, employees and friends affiliated with the company can reportedly purchase a product using their phone or computer, and have it delivered directly to their homes "in a matter of hours". Two unnamed sources briefed on the service told the paper that at least one national apparel chain is involved.
The paper's sources also claim that Google doesn't intend to manage its own warehouses. Instead, the search engine giant is teaming up with retailers and delivery companies to provide the actual groundwork. Several San Francisco retailers – some of which are national chains – are already participating in Google's program, they said.
Google is reportedly moving to a same-day service to prevent Amazon from stealing its business. As it stands now, retail ads are a huge portion of Google's business, but consumers are swarming to Amazon to shop for products, bypassing those money-generating ads. What also doesn't help is that Amazon offers a yearly-subscription service that provides free two-day shipping – just imagine that becoming same-day delivery.
The New York Times speculates that the move also bridges the digital and physical sectors so that Google can better understand and profit from mobile ads. When consumers use their PC to shop, Google and advertisers know when a user clicks on an ad, and then visits or purchases a product on another website. On the mobile front, Google loses that customer when they look up a product on their phone, and then walk into a physical retailer to purchase the item.
But by offering same-day delivery using a smartphone, Google can keep track of the user while pocketing the money generated from the mobile ads. A Google spokesman, Nate Tyler, declined to comment, the paper said.