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Rumor: Google working on Amazon Prime challenger

amazon via seattlepiRumor is spreading about a move Google may be making into Amazon’s realm. The search giant supposedly wants to set up a service that would allow customers to receive products bought online within the same day. The service would charge a low fee.

WSJ cites unnamed sources who say that big retailers such as Macy’s, Gap and OfficMax have already been approached. A Macy’s spokesperson acknowledged Google’s pitch to the company, but declined to state whether those in charge had made any decisions. Some retailers have expressed interest in the idea.

Google reportedly plans on attaching this new quick-shipping service to Product Search, a comparison shopping feature which aggregates deals and directs shoppers to retailer websites, rather than selling the products directly to consumers. The speedy shipping would be made possible using the information on inventory which retail partners already share with Google. Product Search would allow shoppers to see whether a product is in stock nearby and whether that product could arrive in the same day or the next. Supposedly, Google has approached UPS and other courier companies to partner with them on the project.

This move would definitely be a challenge to Amazon and its Prime product, which is a service charging $79 annually that offers fast shipping for Amazon shoppers. Prime has been very good to Amazon, boosting its sales by 42% this year. Not only would Google be venturing into Amazon’s Prime space, Google has its eye on the ad revenue lost to Amazon’s product search domination.

We may see the shipping service launched in the next year, according to the WSJ. Google hopes the move will garner more ad-money earned from its Product Search feature, but critics believe the venture may be too expensive. The Product Search feature was recently updated, adding more information to products and offering an easier, more intuitive experience to online shoppers.

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