Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an article highlighting Google’s latest endeavour—grocery delivery. Residents of California and parts of the Midwest can order products from Google Express and see them at their door in less than two hours. While fresh-food delivery companies have failed in the past, Google does not hold inventory but picks up products from existing retailers, like Costco, and delivers them to customers.
Nicas and Bensinger’s article highlights the speed and efficiency this service provides. Google is a frontrunner in the technology industry with a strong global influence. While Google Express is a relatively new venture reaching only a small customer basis, the potential is enormous. Google Express customers can order anything from home-wears to toiletries to tech-products, and now, food. The article mentions Costco, Wholefoods, and Smart&Final as leading food sellers on Google Express. However, the article fails to mention the wide scope of stores featured on the site including Target, Toys “R” Us, Walgreens, and Staples. The convenience that comes with Google Express is undeniable. For $10 a month or $95 a year, customers can have everyday products delivered right to their doors. The article compares Google Express food to similar services but points out the benefits in Google’s business plan. In particular, Google does not hold inventory in a warehouse like Amazon. They simply pick up customer orders from established stores or warehouses.
While Google Express is innovative and convenient, it is currently only available in California and parts of the Midwest. The service is expected to reach other major cities, but it only reaches a small population at the moment. The article briefly mentions the membership fees required to join Google Express. Google offers three months of free delivery as a trial but then charges customers $3-5 for each food order. Non-food orders have free delivery for members. Customers must establish a cost/ benefit analysis to calculate if the membership fee and delivery charge are worth less than going to a traditional store. Though the Wall Street Journal Article presents the new food service market of Google Express, it does a poor job of explaining Google Express as a whole. Many people who live outside the California region, probably have not heard of this service at all. Amazon is the main competitor of Google Express but Amazon has a much larger network and therefore is a better service than Google Express. The business model of Google’s grocery delivery is better than that of Amazon because Google does not hold the food prior to sale. Rather than store food in an expensive warehouse, Google saves money and has a more efficient food delivery service despite there small scope.