updated 09:13 pm EST, Sat December 1, 2012
Google makes push into e-commerce with delivery company
The world's most popular search engine made a big push into e-commerce this week, as Google acquired BufferBox, an e-commerce goods delivery service. The Canadian service specializes in delivering goods to physical kiosks, much in the same way that e-commerce giant Amazon is attempting to do. Commenting on the acquisition, Google representatives said that the move is aimed at removing "as much friction as possible from the shopping experience, while helping consumers save time and money."
Google has not given further details on how exactly the search giant will integrate BufferBox into its offerings. Financial aspects of the deal have not been released, but TechCrunch is reporting that the acquisition was completed for a total of $17 million.
The search giant has been looking to leverage its brand recognition in a number of sectors, and e-commerce is a particularly important segment for Google. Recently, the company began charging for listings in its Product Search feature, and Google last year rolled out a catalog app for Apple's iPad.
The move toward locker-based delivery will bring Google into closer competition with Amazon, which has been rolling out its own locker service over the past several months. Locker systems are thought to be an essential element in allowing online retailers to approach same-day delivery, eliminating one of the last advantages physical retailers have over online outlets.