Photo: Al Hasan via Flickr
We scoffed when we heard Google was thinking about getting into the same-day delivery business.But now the New York Times reports that Google has launched a private test of a same-day delivery service in San Francisco, open only to Google employees and their friends.
The reasons why Google wants to get into same-day delivery are complex, but it comes down to this: Much of its advertising revenues comes from e-commerce ads.
The rise of mobile is erasing the distinction between online and offline commerce. And Google wants to get into retail payments, too, with its Google Wallet product.
By getting into delivery, Google knows nearly everything about a transaction, from the search terms that drove the consumer to a particular retailer to the way they paid for the deal to the location where they got the goods.
The compact 49 square miles of San Francisco are now something of a hotbed for same-day delivery. eBay recently took its same-day delivery service, eBay Now, out of private beta, though it remains limited to San Francisco. TaskRabbit, Postmates, Exec, Instacart and other startups are competing to broker deliveries between retailers and consumers.
Amazon offers limited same-day deliveries in a patchwork of cities and regions across the country, though not in San Francisco. It’s widely expected to start offering faster deliveries as it’s forced to collect sales taxes on purchases; formerly, Amazon avoided setting up warehouses and other facilities in certain states to avoid being subject to sales-tax regulations.