Reports from the Wall Street Journal are surfacing that Google may be going to challenge Amazon’s Prime service, launching sometime in 2012. Google reportedly want to set up a service which would allow their customers to receive products bought online within a 24 hour period. Like Amazon Prime, it would be a low price set over a full year of shipping.
WSJ are claiming they have unnamed sources close to the matter. These sources claim that retailers such as Gap, OfficMax and Macy’s have already been approached. A Macy’s spokesperson did acknowledge they were approached with a pitch, but has declined to give any more information on the matter. Some other leading retailers are showing an interest in the concept.
Google have apparently got plans to attach this new quick shipping service to Product Search, a comparison shopping feature which aggregates good deals and pushes shoppers towards retailer websites, rather than selling the products directly. This would work with Google partners, as they would have stock information at hand immediately. This information would be detailed, showing customers if the item could be delivered quickly to their region. Further reports indicate that UPS have been approached to partner with them on the project.
Amazon Prime has proven very popular, especially with regular customers who order many items all year. In the UK, the service costs £49 for a 12 month ‘subscription’, all deliveries under the ‘prime’ service are free, and are generally next day via specific couriers such as City Link and Royal Mail Special Delivery.
Kitguru says: Amazon Prime generates the company over $300 million a year, although recent reports would indicate that Amazon spend over $900 million on shipping costs, so we can imagine that the $79/£50 a year fee may increase soon.