The biggest names in tech are waging a war over who gets to bring you fruits and veggies.
Google is planning to test a new option to deliver fresh grocery items from select food chains to customers through its Google Express shopping service in San Francisco and another yet to be named market, according to a Bloomberg report.
A source close to Google confirmed to Mashable that the company is expanding into perishable goods this year, after having previously offered only non-perishable items through its existing grocery delivery partnerships with Whole Foods, Costco and Fairway, just to name a few.
The move is a direct challenge to Amazon.
It also pits Google against well-funded startups like Instacart, Postmates and even Uber, the last of which began experimenting with fresh grocery deliveries last year. It’s also a reminder that Google hasn’t given up on its delivery operation even after numerous reports about its struggles to gain traction.
For Google, there is much at stake in satisfying our growing need for instant gratification. The Internet giant recognizes customers may increasingly bypass its search engine in favor of looking up and ultimately receiving goods and services from competitors like Amazon. That’s valuable data and a potential new revenue stream.
Alongside news on Tuesday of the fresh food delivery, Google also announced an expansion of its next-day delivery service throughout the Midwest after having previously launched its shopping option for groceries, home supplies, apparel and more in the usual early adopter cities along the coasts of the U.S.
“Our goal with Google Express is to offer a great shopping experience and connect people with their favorite stores,” Brian Elliott, general manager of Google Express, said in a statement. “Today, we’re very excited to be further expanding our efforts — making it easy for over 25 million people in the Midwest to get things they need from stores they love — delivered overnight.”
One report in 2014 said Google had earmarked as much as $500 million for what was then called Shopping Express. The service rebranded to Express late last year.
Elliott, previously the head of partnership for Google Shopping, took over Google Express in July after an executive shakeup to help the delivery service deliver better results.
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Apple Pay has 425 financial institutions and is expected to have 1.5MM acceptance locations by year end. Samsung Pay is running a U.S. beta with plans for a commercial launch end September. MCX is getting ready for a public pilot. There are unconfirmed reports of Android Pay about to hit the market. Obviously lots of activity, or at least seems to be the case. Apple Pay which is coming up on its one-year anniversary is seeing tepid volumes despite all the cards provisioned. Of course, acceptance has been challenging given the lack of NFC terminals and common wisdom says that usage will pick up as more NFC terminals are deployed. We should get an early read on the importance of a mobile-ready merchant infrastructure in stimulating transaction volumes as Samsung Pay comes on stream.