Google revealed a new Consumer Service last week that allowed for same-day delivery of products coming from Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us, as well a local shops like San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee, and the Bay Area’s Palo Alto Toy & Sport and Raley’s Nob Hill Foods. The only catch is that for now, the Google Shopping Express service is available for people in the Bay Area. Early testers will get to enjoy six months of free delivery, since Google hasn’t exactly figured out how much to charge consumers using the service.
This has Google directly competing with the likes of Amazon, Walmart and eBay. So what do the other three offer that would get you snubbing Google’s latest venture into Consumer Services?
The e-comm giant’s same day delivery, or Local Express Delivery, depends largely on the availability of items in their warehouses where the service is offered. Currently, the service is available in 10 cities but has a deadline for placing orders. Amazon has an ordering deadline at 7 AM local time for Chicago and Indianapolis, 8:30 AM local time for New York and parts of New Jersey, 9:30 AM local time for Phoenix, 10 AM local time for Philadelphia and Las Vegas, 11:00 am local time for Baltimore, Boston and Washington D.C., and 12 PM local time for Seattle.
The worst part about Amazon’s Local Express Delivery is that it costs more to use this service. If you order Amazon Gift Cards, it would set you back $3.99 for the shipment, but if you order other items, you have to pay a shipping fee of $8.99, more or less depending on the bulk of your order, and $0.99 per item you want delivered.
Note: Amazon Prime members receive Local Express Delivery on eligible items for $3.99 per item.
Walmart ToGo, it’s same day delivery service, is currently available in 25 stores but it hopes to double that number by the end of the year. To check if the service is available in your area, click here and fill in the necessary details.
To use the service you need to create a Walmart account, but if you already have an existing account, you can use that. There’s no exact minimum order amount for people to use this service, that will depend on the items you are trying to purchase. Same goes for the shipping fee — it depends on the items you’re ordering.
Probably the best part about Walmart ToGo is that you can set the time and date when you want an item to be delivered. If you need the items today, just reserve what time of the day you want it. You can also schedule stuff to be delivered up to three weeks in advance, which means you can shop ahead for a party and have it delivered when needed.
Also, Walmart just announced that it’s planning on using its existing in-store shoppers as delivery mules for online shoppers. Walmart will not force retail shoppers to join the service, they sign up if they want to, providing Walmart with information such as their home address. So when an online shoppers rings up an order, and a particular shopper who signed up for the service is coincidentally at the store, the retail shopper could drop the items off at the online shopper’s place.
Of course the retail shopper will get something out of this; his own shopping costs will be discounted, so it will be like Walmart paying for your gas to deliver the items to someone right in your neighborhood. The experiment poses some considerable risks, like stolen items and privacy concerns, and these risks should be a focus for Walmart should it go through with a crowdsourcing shopping plan.
eBay introduced its same-day delivery service in San Francisco in August of last year, and quickly extended its offerings to New York shoppers. The auctioneer now has a mobile app called eBay Now. eBay offers same day delivery from Target, Walgreens, Toys “R” Us, Best Buy and Macy’s, and the service will be launching in Chicago and Dallas this Summer. Beta testers were able to order delivery of items costing only $15 and the first three orders were free of charge, succeeding deliveries costs $5. Also, eBay’s same day delivery now has a $25 value limit, which means items won’t be delivered unless it costs $25 or more for a single or accumulated purchase. The service runs from 9am to 9pm Monday-Saturday, and 9am-6pm on Sundays.
Which same day delivery is better?
For area covered, Amazon and Walmart take the prize, as they are able to deliver to more consumers. For the delivery price, nothing beats Google’s free delivery but that offer is only for early beta testers for 6 months. The next best thing is eBay’s $5 delivery fee, Amazon just charges too much. But for the service, I think Walmart takes the grand prize since it allows customers to schedule the time and date they want items to be delivered, which means less risk for delivery men going to houses when no one’s home.