With the success of Amazon Prime, it was only a matter of time before Google got into the fast-shipping business.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is on the way to start a service that matches online shopping with fast (one-day) delivery - for a small fee. Basically, Amazon Prime for the rest of the internet retailers.
And the comparison to Amazon's Prime service is not only valid because the new initiative so closely resembles the service. According to the people familiar with the matter, the idea was directly motivated by the huge success of Amazon's service.
Apparently, Google realizes that people are finding goods by searching on Amazon directly, taking Google out of the equation. Retailers have also noticed this, realizing that they sometimes cannot compete with Amazon's merchandise availability and quick shipping times.
The sources say that Macy's, Gap, and OfficeMax are some of the first retailers to be interested in partnering up with Google.
It looks like the service may utilize Google Shopper:
Under the initiative, Google plans to meld an existing product-search feature that directs shoppers to retail websites with a new quick-shipping service that the Internet giant will oversee. 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.
When shoppers place an order on those retailers' websites, Google's system could kick in to offer them an option for same-day or possibly next-day delivery, said a person familiar with the matter.
So Google won't actually be selling anything, or shipping anything for that matter. Possible delivery partnerships include UPS and other local companies. Google reportedly plans to test the initiative in San Francisco and work its way up to a full launch in 2012.
Do you think Amazon should be worried? Let us know what you think in the comments.