In a move to combat Amazon’s dominance in the delivery of physical products, Google is said to be in talks with “major retailers and shippers” to create their own rival service, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The companies that are reportedly considering partnering with Google — Macy’s, OfficeMax, and Gap Inc– are some of the same that recently signed up to integrate the company’s Google Wallet NFC platform into their retail locations. Google’s service will compete directly with Amazon’s Prime, which offers same-day or next-day shipping on all of their products.
Google plans to meld an existing product-search feature that directs shoppers to retail websites with a new quick-shipping service that the Internet giant will oversee. The quick-shipping service will be based on a Google behind-the-scenes system that allows shoppers to figure out whether stores have a product in stock and that allows them to find out whether they can get that product shipped to them within a day.
Amazon has seen huge success with their $79 a year Prime program. Not only do customers get expedited shipping on products, but get added bonuses on Amazon’s Kindle Fire when it comes to media downloads and their MP3 store. The report mentions that Google has talked to UPS to also partner in the program.
It’s not clear if the program will cost a subscription fee like Amazon Prime, or if it will be offered free through the help of their partnerships. Google seems to like to stick with the free model more than anything, so I wouldn’t discount the possibility.