MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) — After months of testing and tweaking, Google Shopping Express launched on Wednesday, offering same-day delivery of thousands of items to parts of the Peninsula and the South Bay.
The Mountain View-based web giant has partnered with more than a dozen retailers to deliver items of all kinds, from peanut butter and handbags, to soda and digital cameras.
Shoppers begin by logging into the company’s portal, and can browse by store, item, or category. Users must create a Google Wallet account with a stored credit card number. Upon checkout, customers select a time window for delivery, often on the same day, or the day after.
Order fulfillment takes place at the actual retail store, when a Google employee browses the aisle, selects the products, and prepares them for delivery.
KPIX 5 reporter Kiet Do ordered from four stores to deliver to his San Jose home on Wednesday. He ordered almond butter, granola, and beef jerky from Target. From Nob Hill supermarket, brown rice, pasta, sparkling mineral water, bagels, quinoa, and almonds. He also ordered underwear from REI, and a pet toy from Walgreens.
The orders were placed from 3:35 p.m. to 3:52 p.m. All orders indicated they would arrive from 6pm-9pm, except for the Walgreen’s order.
The Target order was first to arrive at 6:42 p.m., and originated from a Sunnyvale store 16 miles away. One item, a box of granola came later, because it originated from a Target store in Redwood City, 27 miles away.
The REI and Nob Hill order arrived together at 8:05pm, followed by the box of granola from Redwood City at 8:10 p.m.
After an email and phone conversation with a Google representative about the Walgreens order, the pet toy arrived with much urgency at 8:51 p.m.
Three out of the four deliverymen arrived in their own personal vehicles. Google said they are working on acquiring more Toyota Prius hybrids.
Google recommends submitting orders early in the day for the best chance of same-day delivery, as some delivery spots will sell out. Looking to being eco-friendly, Google said hybrid delivery vehicles are part of that strategy, as well as operating more designated fulfillment stores to increase their efficiency and reduce their driving distances.
Currently, Google Shopping Express does not deliver perishables such as milk, eggs, butter, cheese, or yogurt. The company said it is “something they are thinking about”
There are no firm expansion plans outside of the current delivery area, but is likely.
When asked about the data of purchases and customer privacy, Google provided this response:
“Shopper’s information is secure – it’s only used by Google, couriers and the retailer to provide the Shopping Express service and is never shared with other third parties.”
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