Google Ramps Up the Same-Day Delivery Service War

With more cities and merchants on board, can it take on Amazon Prime?

Google Express is bringing same-day delivery to Chicago, Boston and Washington. Photo: Mike Powell/Getty Images

Google is hoping that if you're going to shop local, you'll go with Google Express.

This week, the company officially rebranded its former Shopping Express service—which allows people to order items from area retailers for same-day or overnight delivery—and said it was expanding the program to three more cities. 

Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C., are now part of the same-day delivery service area, on top of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Northern California residents will still be able to enjoy overnight deliveries and adults in the Bay Area can now purchase alcohol via the service. Google also has added regional and national merchant partners, with the number of available merchants varying by location.

"With more cities, more merchants and more of your favorite items, Google Express is on its way toward making your life easier by helping you get even more errands out of the way," said Brian Elliott, Google Shopping's head of partnerships, in a statement. "We hope to give you more free time—and we can't wait to hear about all the things you do with it."

There's also a new Express Membership option for $95 per year or $10 per month. Subscribers will get free delivery on orders costing more than $15, priority in choosing delivery time windows and the ability to share membership with another household member. Google also will continue to offer the service on a pay-as-you-go basis at $4.99 per transaction. In addition, the company is offering a three-month free trial to new users.

The moves position Google's service to be in prime competition with Amazon's offerings, which currently gives customers free two-day delivery on the majority of items in its store for $99 a year in addition to other features like access to the Kindle Lending Library and its streaming video collection. Google also is rumored to be working with partner Uber to create a self-driving delivery service in the next five to 10 years. In addition, it launched a development program for a drone delivery service, something that Amazon is working on as well.

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