Amazon’s online retail price has not gone unnoticed by major retailers such as Walmart. The online retailer has been excellent at its Internet business, but Amazon also has a same-day delivery service that gets books and other items to users the same day in which they order (in most cases, a matter of hours after the online order).
Now, Google is looking to take on Amazon in same-day delivery by partnering up with declining book retailer Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble bookstores were once filled with people, all lining up to grab the latest books on their favorite subjects. Amazon’s Kindle Book e-readers and Kindle download service now allow users to have their favorite books at their fingertips in a matter of seconds. The same-day delivery service for those who still prefer to literally “turn the pages” has become a part of the new way to gain more profit in the industry.
Google has its own Google Shopping Express (now a year old) that allows customers to order from Walgreens, Target, Staples, Costco, and other stores and have their items delivered to their residences in three to four hours’ time. Google’s Shopping Express service costs nothing for subscribers, but $4.99 per delivery per store for non-subscribers. The company’s delivery service only has 19 retailers for now (Barnes and Noble being the most recent), but Google’s making it clear that it wants to compete far beyond the realm of technology for profit.
Amazon’s same-day delivery service costs $5.99 for Amazon Prime subscribers, and $9.98 for non-subscribers.
Barnes and Noble CEO Michael P. Huseby hailed the new Google/Barnes and Noble partnership as historic: “It’s our attempt to link the digital and physical.” At the same time, however, Huseby also says that the Google/B&N experiment is only a “test,” meaning that it could work out in the long run or it could not.
This newly-forged partnership does not mean that Barnes and Noble will be collecting orders for Google Shopping customers at its website. Instead, Barnes and Noble is hoping to expand its customer base by using Google’s Shopping Express as a way to get more customers to buy from its stores. Brick-and-mortar bookstores are in an era surrounded by instantaneous delivery services that prevent customers from having to walk into them. Perhaps those who still want to turn the pages can have their cake and eat it too.