Google, Amazon, and the future of instant gratification

As retail e-commerce has steadily grown in the US, online retailers have gradually eroded advantages brick-and-mortar retailers once held, including price and convenience. But there is one benefit to in-store shopping that e-commerce has yet to surpass: the instant gratification that comes with possessing the thing you want the moment you want it.

Google-Shopping-Express-Launches-In-San-FranciscoIn order to offer shoppers that same feeling of instant gratification, e-commerce giant Amazon has hatched numerous plans to get consumers the products they want as quickly as humanly possible. Those plans have ranged from the ambitious (anticipatory shipping) to the, well, more creative (drone delivery), but the goal is the same: reduce the time from order to delivery.

Now, it looks like Google is getting serious about their own plans to offer same-day delivery to consumers. According to a Re/code article citing sources familiar with Google’s plans, the company plans to invest as much as $500 million to expand Google Shopping Express, which offers same-day delivery on local products. This investment, which so far has been put to marketing efforts and the buildup of a delivery fleet, signals Google’s commitment to bolstering its e-commerce capabilities. Same-day delivery also represents the key to the enormous $600 billion per year grocery market, which Google and Amazon have been exploring over the past year or so.

If Google, Amazon, or any other e-commerce company can successfully build a scalable national model for same-day delivery, it would not only be a great revenue windfall, but would further blur the lines between online and offline commerce.

Image credits: Google

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