updated 01:47 pm EDT, Sun October 28, 2012
Google move into e-commerce somewhat murky
Google is in the process of testing a service that would allow users of its e-commerce services to receive same-day delivery on products they purchase. The service is currently being tested in San Francisco, where users affiliated with Google are able to get products from at least one national apparel chain. The move would bring Google into stiffer competition with the likes of Amazon, Wal-Mart, and eBay, all of which are looking to bring same-day shipping to market.
The New York Times' Bits Blog carries the details on the unannounced Google service. According to the Bits report, Google doesn't plan to operate warehouses or a shipping service, but will instead team with retailers and delivery companies. A number of national chains, along with other San Francisco retailers, are taking part in the testing.
Same day delivery has been something of a holy grail for online retailers, as it largely removes one of the last advantages physical retailers have over them: being able to own a product the same day one pays for it. Last year, Google was rumored to be working on a next-day delivery service to rival Amazon's Prime feature. eBay, in its continuing shift from niche auction site to retail outlet, has rolled out a same-day delivery option in its iOS app.