Google is adding two more densely populated areas to its Google Shopping Express same-day delivery service.
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With Shopping Express, Google partners with brick-and-mortar retailers such as Costco and Staples, and uses its own couriers to pick up and deliver products. Users must place their orders early in the day through the Google Shopping Express Website and choose a delivery window for when to receive their items.
Google says that the cost for items through its service is exactly the same as the in-store price, including any taxes and fees. And for at least the next six months, there's no additional charge for the service itself.
Eventually, Google Shopping Express will require a paid membership, but Google hasn't said what the subscription price will be. Without a membership, Google will charge $4.99 per store, per order.
For now, the New York and Los Angeles programs support fewer retail stores than their San Francisco counterparts. All areas support shipments from Costco, L'Occitane, Staples, Target, Toys "R" Us, and Walgreens. (You can see the full list for each area on Google's website.)
The expansion for Google's service comes just days after Amazon added two more cities to its own same-day delivery program. With the addition of Dallas and San Francisco, Amazon now supports same-day delivery in 12 U.S. cities. Amazon also added a "Get it Today" filter to its website, so shoppers can quickly figure out which products are eligible.
A war over same-day delivery has been brewing for years, but the idea is still very much an experiment, limited to just a handful of cities for each retailer. These programs are tricky to scale, especially in smaller cities, which may explain why companies are considering more extreme delivery methods, such as crowdsourcing and drones.