Google Express VS Amazon, Is Google going to Compete?

Google Express is growing.

Google Launched Google Express in early 2018 since then, I personally have watched the number of stores grow daily. I really started looking in October 2018 There were less than 100 retailers  and Now 3 times that if not more.  A little about How Google Express works

The demand for personalized shopping experiences is becoming increasingly popular each year. With the rise of Amazon’s personalized services like Amazon Prime Now, Amazon Fresh and even Amazon Go, many retailers are opening their eyes to the benefit of offering on-demand services like home delivery (car delivery?) and mobile shopping.

Google is also getting in on the action through their recent launch of Google Express, a same-day delivery service that functions as an alternative (or companion) to buying online with Google Shopping. But what is Google Express exactly, and how does it measure up to Google Shopping?

What is Google Express
Google Express is an on-demand, online and mobile app-based home delivery service akin to Amazon Prime Now. Unlike Google Shopping, Google Express has a select number of merchants that use the service to deliver products, with big-name retailers like Walmart, Target, and Costco leading the pack.

With slogans like, “The Simple Way to Shop Online” and “Need anything from the store?” Google Express aims to give shoppers an easier way to order and receive products from their favorite retailers without physically having to be in a store for pickup.

Unlike Amazon Prime, Google Express does not have a membership system (it was removed in 2016) and instead has a minimum order requirement for free or discounted shipping. However, they still offer the same shipping benefits as Amazon, such as same-day, overnight, two-day delivery and discounts with certain retailers.

Since expanding in 2016, Google Express services roughly 90% of U.S. shoppers. But how does it measure up to Google Shopping? There are some key differences that make Google Express and Google Shopping two entirely different experiences for both customers and merchants alike.

Here are the five biggest differences and how they impact the overall shopping experience.

1. Merchants and Product Availability
One of the most noticeable differences between Google Express and Google Shopping is the access to specific merchants or sellers. With Google Shopping, almost any seller can create a merchant account (with Google Merchant Center) and use PPC advertising to list their products online.

Google Shopping acts more as an ad display network than a true merchant platform. Shoppers are often redirected to merchant shopping carts or retail websites to buy directly from the seller sites. Merchants using Google Shopping’s network can create their own product feeds that include inventory and pricing data, but they will still rely heavily on their own websites for the shopping experience. This gives Google Shopping an advantage when it comes to diversity of merchants.

Google Express is a distinct shopping service that offers both a centralized online shopping page and access through their mobile app. So far, Google Express only offers access to specific merchants.

As of publishing this post, Google Express lists 49 retailers that partner with Google to offer home delivery through the website and app.

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While these range from trusted brands like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Guitar Center, it also includes lesser-known retailers that offer an array of products.

The one product distinction between Google Express and Google Shopping is that Google Express is limited to specific, non-perishable items, but Google Express offers a “one-stop-shop” experience.

2. Shipping and Minimum Orders

Google Express offers free and discounted shipping based on a minimum order requirement. Shoppers will have to meet a $25 or $35 per-store minimum (depending on the store) to qualify for free shipping. Otherwise, they must pay a fee of $4.99 for smaller orders that fall below that limit.

Google Express does offer same-day, overnight, and two-day shipping, the actual arrival date of packages will ultimately be determined by the merchant, so packages could still arrive after three or more days in certain situations.

3. Shopping Experience
The Google Express shopping experience

The Google Express homepage layout is more similar to Amazon’s homepage when compared to Google Shopping’s homepage, which means that Amazon shoppers may find Google Express more appealing.

You can also access Google Express through its mobile app available on Google Play (Android and Google devices) and iTunes (iPhone, iPad).

This offers a much smoother experience when shopping on mobile devices seems familiar because it’s similar to Amazon’s shopping app. Since Google promotes mobile app usage, this is probably the first experience shoppers will have with the platform.

In terms of a cohesive shopping experience, Google Express offers a central location to buy from, both on mobile and desktop (like Amazon’s shopping experience).

4. Returns
What happens if you want to return a product purchased from Google Express?

Google Express allows merchants (Target, Walmart, etc.) to set their own return policies, but encourages merchants to follow a standard return policy. This policy states that products in new or as-delivered condition can be returned in 30 days, either shipped to the original location or returned to the store in person.

Some exceptions to the policy include:

  • Electronics (in new or as-delivered condition) can be returned in 14 days
  • Food and pantry items can’t be returned but are eligible for a refund
  • Living things (flowers and plants) can’t be returned but can receive a refund

It also notes that refunds should be for the full amount and processed within 7 business days, although this may be processed differently depending on the store’s specific return policy.

Google also allows shoppers to contact their customer support team via email, call, or live chat with any questions or concerns about product returns, and will also assist customers in contacting stores directly for more complicated returns.

In terms of the return experience, Google Express customers will ultimately rely on the individual merchant or seller to resolve returns, although Google Express offers more direct support for the process. Google Express items can also be returned in person to the store, which may be more appealing to customers that have a hard time returning items via mail.

5. Local Shopping
With Google Express, local information (zip code) is already applied to every search, and Google automatically finds the closest available product to ship, although it does allow you to change your location if needed .

By using local information, Google Express can ship certain products faster — similar to how Amazon delivers products via their local warehouses — though you may have a more limited selection if your local store is out of stock.

Wrapping it All Up

Google Express offers a shopping experience akin to Amazon Prime, with discounts on shipping (for orders that are over the minimum) and a centralized mobile and web shopping experience, though it’s more limited in merchants and product availability. For customers who already shop from those trusted brands, however, it may be the perfect platform for shopping online, especially if you already love Google.

I would Say That Google Is On It’s way to competing with Amazon

Parts of original article By Acquisio

In Business Solutions©2019