According to the WSJ, Google is teaming up with online retailers to cook up a standardised way to ship things to customers super fast (for a fee, of course). Sound familiar? Yeah, Google's going after Amazon Prime.
The WSJ's sources say that Google has started this 'Amazon Prime for other retailers' initiative because people have began searching for products directly on Amazon rather than Google. And Google needs to protect its corners! The current rumoured plan is to use Google's existing product search in Google Shopping and combine it with a behind-the-scenes system that'll figure out what stores have what in stock and how fast customers can get it. Right now, American retailers Macy's, Gap, OfficeMax and others have joined with Google. According to WSJ, it'll work like this:
"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's not selling anything themselves or shipping anything themselves but will try to solve a problem of laggy shipping from online retailers not named Amazon. I'm down with that. It will be interesting to see what else Google will offer with the service though, given how Amazon is bolstering its Prime memberships with other features. The Google Prime service is expected to go under a pilot test in San Francisco next year. [WSJ]