Google may soon be delivering much more than just information and the occasional gadget direct to consumers.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Mountain View is looking to partner with retailers on a service that could compete with Amazon's Prime by offering uber-quick delivery for a small fee. So far, OfficeMax, Gap, and Macy's are reportedly onboard.
The WSJ posits that the concept is a result of Google being grumpy that many consumers have taken to searching for products directly via Amazon's site rather than running the query by the search giant first. The new service would integrate with Google Shopping, which aggregates outlets, including Amazon, that carry a particular product. Here's how the Journal explains it:
The quick-shipping service will be based on a Google behind-the-scenes system that allows shoppers to figure out whether stores have a product in stock and that allows them to find out whether they can get that product shipped to them within a day.
The system would kick in when an order is placed on retailers' sites to offer the special shipping deal, if available.
Amazon Prime is available for a yearly fee of $79 and provides a mish-mash of benefits, including free two-day shipping on all Amazon orders, streaming video, and a monthly Kindle e-book to borrow from a special library of titles.
So Google wouldn't actually be selling anything under this new program, and nobody in a Google uniform is going to show up at your door to hand you your stuff. Instead, this is a very targeted way for the company with a stranglehold on information to squabble with the company with a stranglehold on stuff over one little corner where the two overlap... kind of.
In the end, if Google can help me get my new microSD card a few days quicker, that's a few days sooner I'll be able to download more MP3s from Amazon on to my Android phone. Man, keeping score between these two is giving me a headache.