Google announced today that its rebranding its Google Shopping Express service while expanding the same day delivery service to new markets and merchants. While announcing the new shorter “Google Express” name, Google announced that the service is now available in Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. After first rolling out the service a year ago, it’s now accessible to more than 7 million people.
Google also noted some of the big merchants it’s added support for in recent months, including alcohol delivery in the Bay Area, making for a total of 16 new shopping options through Express:
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We’ve added national brands including 1-800-Flowers, Barnes & Noble, Nine West, PetSmart, Vitamin Shoppe and Sports Authority, and regional merchants such as Paragon Sports in New York and Vicente Foods in Los Angeles. In our new markets, we’ve added regional brands including Stop & Shop in Boston; Giant Food in D.C.; and Lux Roses, TigerDirect, Treasure Island Foods and Wrigleyville Sports in Chicago.
In addition, new Google Express yearly and monthly memberships will offer free same-day or overnight on orders over $15, first selection of delivery windows, and the ability to share a membership with a family member. Express orders typically cost $4.99 per order, while the new memberships run $95/year or $10/month. That’s significant in positioning the service as a true competitor to Amazon Prime, which is currently Google’s competition in the membership-based premium delivery service. Google chairman Eric Schmidt yesterday called Amazon Google’s biggest search competitor noting that “people don’t think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon.” The name change will certainly make a lot more sense if Google decides to bundle other services into Express, much like Amazon Prime does, which might not exactly fall under the “Shopping” category.
As of today, Google Express is available in San Francisco, Peninsula & San Jose, West Los Angeles, Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC. It also offers overnight delivery for Northern California.