Google's Next Big Idea: Same-Day Delivery

Would allow customers to purchase from nearby stores online

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 2, 2011 7:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Google's online empire might be about to get a little bigger: In a move that would ramp up its rivalry with Amazon, the company is planning its own same-day delivery service, according to three insiders. Google won’t be selling things directly—instead, the system would allow customers to make online purchases from stores nearby and receive them that very day for a small fee, the New York Times reports. The search giant doesn't plan to build stores, notes the Times, which says Google is in talks with possible delivery providers and retailers.

"They've approached us with the idea, but we haven't made any decisions," a Macy's rep tells the Wall Street Journal. The service is Google’s latest foray into retail, joining programs like Google Wallet and Google Offers. If all goes well, San Francisco and New York City would be the first beneficiaries of the new venture; the company ultimately wants to integrate the service with its Android operating system and the Google Plus social network, says an insider. But Google may face a "competitive disadvantage," says an expert, because "consumers view Amazon and maybe eBay as guaranteeing over all a higher-quality shopping experience."

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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