For those of you who haven’t heard, Google launched the beta version of a same-day delivery service in the Bay Area called Google Shopping Express. The premise is simple: The stores you know and love now do same-day delivery thanks to Google’s personal service. I decided to give it a try.
This past Saturday, I got home after grocery shopping to find that I had forgotten three things – not normally a huge deal, but since I don’t have a car and the grocery store is a 1.2 mile walk each direction from my apartment, going is a bit of an event. Remembering the time I had almost used Google Shopping Express to buy a bag of Kit Kat Minis, I decided to give it a go for real and did a search for my first order.
You can build an order from various stores – I personally bought all of my items from Target since that had the competitive price – and the site keeps a running tally in your side bar so that you always know how much your cart is going to cost you. This was nice, especially when compared to a) shopping at a store, where it can be easy to run up the bill and b) websites where you only see the number of items, not the price of the cart itself.
I placed my order at 3:30 PM after setting up my Google Wallet account to connect to my bank account, and selected 6-9PM as my time frame. I’m not entirely sure how far in advance you have to order for the same-day delivery, but 6-9 was the only available slot (other than ‘Any Time’), so I picked it and paid for my order – which came to exactly the price of the 3 items, no delivery fee. Under my order information on the site, I was able to track when my order was placed, packaged, and in-transit: an added bonus.
Around 7:30, I heard fumbling around outside my front door so I went and opened it – by then, the delivery agent was gone, but there was a huge bag waiting with ‘Google Shopping Express’ plastered across it. I pulled it inside and instantly noticed that it was sticky: one of my boxes of Swiffer Wet Cloths had popped open, leaking cleaning fluid over the other objects. Luckily, everything was saved, but it was still a little gross.
I imagine that in the future, Google plans to charge for the service, but for now, I have a free trial membership until April 2014, which is pretty awesome. They have a growing list of participating merchants, and will likely add more as the service expands. For most things that I don’t need right away, I’ll probably stick with Amazon Prime but it’s really nice to have the option of same-day delivery, especially if Google ends up keeping the pricing competitive with Prime (I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Amazon offer a same-day option soon). Overall, I’d give the service a 4/5 – I would definitely use it again, but probably be more cautious in ordering things that could leak.