While Amazon expands the cities where its same-day delivery service operates, Google is adding a new partnership for its own Google Shopping Express program. The New York Times reports that an agreement with Barnes & Noble will let people from Manhattan, West Lost Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.order books through Google and have them delivered later that day from one of the bookseller's local branches.
Barnes & Noble already offers its own same-day delivery service in Manhattan, which is free for customers who pay $25 a year for its membership program. As with products from Target, Costco, Staples, and other partners, Shopping Express books will be sold through Google's own site, something Barnes & Noble hopes can help it reach a new audience. The company has suffered from a shrinking customer base for physical bookstores, and its Nook tablet and e-reader business has declined sharply over the past few years. Earlier this year, it announced that it was spinning off the Nook division into a separate company.
Companies like eBay also offer same-day delivery, but with this partnership, Google is most directly targeting Amazon, which as of yesterday operates its same-day services in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Dallas, the District of Columbia, and several other cities. While Amazon sells directly from its warehouses, Google partners with brick-and-mortar stores whose items it can package and deliver quickly. Like Amazon, it operates on a membership basis.
Amazon same-day shipping currently costs $5.99 for Prime members and $9.98 and up for others. Google shipping is free for members and costs $4.99 for members, and people who sign up now are offered six months of free membership. Shopping Express started testing last year, and it's not known how much those costs will rise once Google feels like the service is out of beta.