Last year, Google said its delivery service, Google Express, would be wading into the highly competitive, and not-so-lucrative grocery delivery game. This week, the company made good on the promise by launching same-day delivery of fresh groceries in San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rather than relying on warehouses, Google says it will be picking up deliveries from partnering grocery stores like Costco, Whole Foods, Smart & Final, and Vicente's Supermarket, a high-end shop in Los Angeles.
Google entering a crowded, competitive market
This is Google's first foray into delivering fresh produce, which has historically proven to be high cost and low profit yielding. Google says fresh and frozen items will be kept in a cooler until they arrive at the customer's doorstep. Delivery costs start at $4.99 and can increase depending on the size or availability of the items ordered. The minimum price for orders that include fresh groceries is $35. Same-day delivery is an option, as is two-hour delivery, but both options will include additional fees. Google Express members — annual subscriptions run $95 — only pay $3 for delivery.
Google Express will compete with rivals like Amazon Fresh, Fresh Direct, and Instacart, as well as perhaps Uber Rush, depending on whether that company eventually expands into groceries (as many expect it will). Amazon Fresh is already available in parts of New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles. But Google Express may be closer to Amazon Prime Now, which has partnering grocery chains, rather than Amazon Fresh, which uses warehouses like Fresh Direct.