The service lets shoppers buy things from local retail stores through Google, which then delivers them to consumers from the physical retail store on the same or next day.
A source familiar with the company’s plans says senior Google execs have set aside as much as $500 million to expand the service nationwide …
Google declined to confirm the amount, but did confirm that it is putting “a lot of money” into the expansion program.
While the service operates quite differently to Amazon, Google merely acting as a delivery service for products which are actually supplied by local retailers, it’s a move that is likely to worry Amazon. Google already partners with several big-name retailers, including Target, Costco, Toys “R” Us, Staples and Walgreen. Google charges a commission to retailers, and plans to charge consumers $4.99 for delivery – but has so far made it free to consumers for the first six months.
It also plans to offer an Amazon Prime style option, consumers able to pay an annual fee – likely to be less than $100 – to receive unlimited free deliveries.