Citing a lot of "people familiar with the matter," the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is shopping around a new service to retailers that would allow them to offer faster delivery service in partnership with the search giant. The plan apparently would piggy-back off of Google's current product search offering, adding the ability for companies like Macy's, Gap, and OfficeMax to offer cheaper, next-day delivery on their products. The service would also integrate with the already-existing inventory information these companies share with Google, so that deliveries could be next day or perhaps even same day, depending on inventory and location.
If Google were to go ahead with the plan, it would be in direct competition with Amazon's Prime service. That would be beneficial to online retailers who haven't been able to compete with the cheap, fast shipping offered by Prime and it would benefit Google in that it would encourage more product searching on its site instead of on Amazon. The WSJ cites a Macy's spokesman as saying that Google "approached us with the idea," but all other companies named offered no comment. A pilot test is supposedly starting in the San Francisco Bay area sometime next year.