Searching for next day delivery service in Rochester?
The world's largest search engine might be the answer.
Google Express launched service in the Rochester area this morning, which is its first foray in Minnesota.
"We want to make users lives easier and help out merchants reach more customers," said Google Express' General Manager Brian Elliot. "We have crazy busy lives these days. This is about giving you back some time."
Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine company Google launched Google Express two years ago to expand its commerce arm, offering an alternative to Amazon Prime.
Elliot's example is parents who have a kid's birthday party and are signed up to provide snacks for the soccer teams. Elliott says at long as the orders are made by 5 p.m. the day before, Google Express can deliver the next day.
However, don't expect to see any delivery trucks pull up with "Google Express" on the side. Unlike regional distribution centers used by Amazon or UPS, Google Express works directly with retailers and contracts with local courier services.
It has deals with 18 merchants like Whole Foods, Costco, Staples,Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, PetSmart, Walgreens and more. The retailers put their available products out on Google Express' online catalog. Consumers chose what they want. The store packages it up and a courier delivers it.
Google Express, which has been running this new service in areas like Chicago and San Francisco, offers an annual membership for $95. Members get free overnight shipping on most items, as long they meet the store's minimum order requirements of $15. There's $3 service fee for orders that don't meet the minimum levels.
For non-members, delivery costs start at $4.99 per store for eligible orders. The fee for orders under the minimum sizes is $3, the same as members.
While Google Express is introducing this service in the Rochester area, it is not covering Minneapolis or St. Paul yet.
"We got up to Rochester, but to the Twin Cities. We'd love to get there. Over time, I'd expect we will," said Elliot. "It's a sort of a one-step at a time project."
He explained that Rochester is closer to Google Express' Midwest hub of Chicago and the retailers here have the capacity to offer the service.
Of course, the big target here for Google is its tech rival, Amazon.
During a recent European trip, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, outlined the rivalry.
“Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo. But, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon," he said. "People don’t think of Amazon as search, but if you are looking for something to buy, you are more often than not looking for it on Amazon.”
There is a lot at stake in the growing delivery market. It is currently a $10.9 billion industry, which is expected to grow by of 9.6 percent by 2019. The U.S. market for same day delivery, which Google Express offers in San Francisco and Chicago, is predicted to swell to $4.03 billion by 2018.