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    Google Express Expands Same-Day Delivery Into More Cities

    It has been a race to the finish line for a number of big name web-based retailers in regards to same-day delivery. In the recent two years alone, Amazon has made great strides with the service, from having strategic distribution centers to now unleashing its' plan for same-day delivery throughout the US. Although Amazon didn't let the cat out of the bag too soon, most experts knew it was coming. Amazon has been launching expansion after expansion, pursuing to gain huge segments of the retail market. However, another e-retailer stepped into the game on last year and has not looked back. Google has been aggressively expanding its' service, now called Google Express, and yet expands again to compete.

    Fortune Magazine reports that Google has now expanded Google Express into Washington D.C., Boston and Chicago. These are all three major US cities that have all of the demographic factors needed for same-day delivery to thrive. Formally Google Shopping Express, the service involves a partnership with several physical store retailers, including Target, Toys-R-Us, Wal-Green's, Barnes & Nobles, BestBuy, and more. Within the new expansion cities, other merchants join the team. Boston's Stop & Shop, Giant Food in D.C., and Wrigleyville Sports in Chicago, all become the new partners of Google, delivering all types of online items to shoppers.

    The items Google Express can deliver to shoppers includes everything, from electronics, flowers, books, toiletries and more. This type of service includes items which are the everyday consumables that customers need, yet may not necessarily have the time to get them within their busy day. Also, Google offers items that shoppers are much apt to use technology more with the added convenience it brings, creating the opportunity to make purchases from everywhere they are. Online retail continues to grow 16% annually, and as the holiday seasons arrives, it is no surprise that Google is establishing same-day delivery for a big return this year.

    Google Express works much like Amazon with an attractive membership model base. A membership with Google currently costs only $95 a year or $10 a month. For orders over $15, members have the opportunity for free same-day or overnight delivery on eligible orders and being first in line for delivery availability options. Shoppers also can simply pay as they go for $4.99 per order. For one customer, this may not seem like a lot of revenue, however, when the economies of scale enters the picture, the volume for profit appears to work. With the new additional cities, Google expands its' reach to servicing over 7 million more people, creates the shopper volume the retailer is looking for.

    Fortune also quoted Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt from the Wall Street Journal in an article regarding who the e-retailer is really competing against. “Many people think our main competition is Bing or Yahoo, but, really, our biggest search competitor is Amazon”, stated Schmidt. Google is distancing itself from the brand of only being a search engine, useful for information only. Google Express is heavily involved in the retail industry and it appears with the big investments and innovation, will be here to stay. Amazon is indeed not only Google's competitor, but probably every retailer's opponent as well.

    As the race continues, more and more physical store retailers that do business online are taking note of Google's model to increase sales. Many are partnering with a same-day courier like A-1 Express to pick up items from their stores and deliver to their customers wherever they are. The Boston courier has a national footprint that can help any web-based or brick-and-mortar seller advance within the e-commerce world.

    Reference: 10.14.14, Fortune, Lauren Lorenzetti, Google Express expands its same-day delivery reach


    Business Insider Talks Same-Day Delivery

    No one thought that more companies would be making a legitimate push toward implementing same-day delivery, but they have. As the online retail industry grows at least 16% annually and tech gadgets rise, shoppers have access to buying all types of items, literally from the palm of their hands. So much so that web-based retailers finally see the light on how same-day delivery can offer the profit needed for sustainability Google and Amazon are at the top of the list, as e-retailers are getting a share of the market from physical store retailers. Now brick-and-mortar companies are fighting back, getting involved in same-day delivery themselves.

    Business Insider (BI) recently reported on how brick-and-mortar stores have one major advantage versus e-retailers, which is their ability for customers to go into their stores and purchase their items the same day. Online retailers were at a lost until same-day delivery has now come into the picture and equalizing the playing field. BI mentioned 2% of shoppers that live in cities that offer same-day delivery have actually used it. This means roughly $100 million worth of merchandise will be delivered same-day in 2014 in 20 US cities. As the likes of Amazon and Google to continue to chip away at the distance between the customer and the item, more and more shoppers are expected to take advantage of the convenient service.

    Also BI mentioned the expectations and interests of consumers when it comes to same-day delivery. Four out of 10 US shoppers stated that they would use the service if they didn't have time to make a run to the store themselves. Another stat was that 1 out of 4 customers said they would abandon their online shopping cart if same-day delivery was not a service option. Therefore, the time to receive items faster online is becoming a driving demand by the consumer, not just the e-retailer. The result could be any online retailer will have to offer the service to really compete on a high e-commerce level.

    Physical stores do have the advantage of being in close proximity of shoppers, yet when they can combine this with e-commerce is when their retail business becomes most effective. Wal-Mart is an example of a large retailer that is offering same-day delivery in multiple US cities and testing online pick up from a number of local stores in Denver. It gives all of their customers the option of have it delivered to their home or ordering online, then going to pick it up. Same-day delivery is what is making online retailing so attractive, even Wal-Mart thought it best to offer it.

    Large scale brick-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart and Macy's have made the shift into investing more into online sales, implementing same-day delivery. Wal-Mart offers it in several US cities, including "Wal-Marttogo". The program offers customers the online option of picking up their purchase from a local participating store. The retailer started testing the program in Denver this year. Macy's has taken the retail world by storm with its' aggressive move to roll-out same-day delivery in multiple large US cities at one time. The cities will include Chicago, Houston, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, D.C., Seattle, and New Jersey.

    More and more brick-and-mortar retailers are joining in, especially with Google to deliver items picked up from stores like Target, Wal-Green's, BestBuy and others. Whether a company is web-based or a physical store, same-day delivery is proving to be necessary to thrive within today's technology-based market. A same-day courier like A-1 Express can partner with any company and deliver same-day any where in the US. The New Jersey courier can quickly implement a same-day logistics solution for any retailer after more market share, especially as the holiday season approaches.

    Reference: 10.25.14, Business Insider, Cooper Smith, Same-Day Delivery Services Are Going After Brick-And-Mortar Retailers’ Last Big Advantage


    Amazon To Open First Brick-And-Mortar Store, Will Offer Same-Day Delivery

    When it comes to Amazon and the moves that it is making right now, some say it is beyond far-fetched and others are saying it is sheer determination to be the retailer that perfects same-day delivery. It has gone to great lengths to get to the plateau that the company is at now and from Amazon's recent announcement, the company is only getting better.

    Amazon has announced the opening of its very first brick-and-mortar store location. The Wall Street Journal reported that the retailer will be opening a store location right in the heart of New York City. The outlet is said to be able to provide Amazon with the face-to-face experience that only traditional retailers have. This is the first step in this direction by the e-retailer in its 20-year history. A company that has been web-based for such a considerable amount of years is officially a physical store retailer as well.

    Amazon’s location will be at 7 West 34th Street, which is across from the Empire State Building in Midtown. It will operate as a mini-warehouse and have limited inventory for same-day delivery within New York, exchanges, product returns, and pickups of online orders. The primary purpose for the Manhattan location is a source for customers to pick up their online orders. It will also serve as a distribution point for a same-day courier like A-1 Express to pick up and delivery items. The article stated eventually this warehouse will feature Amazon devices like Kindle e-readers, Fire smartphones and Fire TV set-top boxes.

    One interesting insight on Amazon's site opening is it is right before the holiday season. Forecasting shows that this year's shopping number in the retail market will be big and Amazon is gearing up for it. The location is on the same street as Macy's New York flagship store. It is probably no coincidence, as Macy's has recently announced its' entry into the same-day delivery market by launching the service in several major US cites.

    Amazon already announced a few months ago its' same-day delivery service expanstion into 6 more major US cities. The e-retailer rolled out the service in New York City, Dallas, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Washington DC and Philadelphia. Amazon was already offering same-day delivery Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, and Indianapolis. Amazon then launched a wider range of same-day delivery in the New York City area. Then, last month the retail giant expanded the service into Atlanta and its' surrounding cities, such as Marietta, Kennesaw, Smyrna, and more. Amazon definitely has something far greater than experts are aware of and only time will tell.

    Amazon's Vice president of Amazon Prime, Greg Greeley, stated before to Yahoo, "Imagine how much time you will save now that you can get sunscreen, memory cards, toothpaste, hit movies, text books and HDMI cables all delivered to your home in hours, seven days a week, in one order from Amazon. New convenient pricing also allows Prime members to fill up their same-day shopping cart with everything they may need for one low price. With more than a million eligible items, we aim to offer the largest same-day selection at the lowest price.” This new site is going to play a part in Amazon's goal.

    The competition is going to have to go to the next level to beat Amazon at this game. Some e-retailers are opting to partner with a same-day courier like A-1 Express to implement a delivery system that fits their business model. There is no question that the New York courier has all of the components, including a nationwide footprint, to assist any web-based or physical store retailer in offering delivering their products the same day. Amazon utilizes its' own fleet, however, retailers can turn to A-1 Express in this race against Amazon.

    References: 8.6.14, Yahoo Finances, Amazon Same-Day Delivery Expanding - “Get It Today” Available in Six More Cities


    New Startup Curbside Launches Mobile App For Same-Day Pick Up

    Today's business market is all about getting customers their products in record time. Retailers know that if you can innovate a service that will save time and increase a shopper's convenience level, you probably are on the right track. This is what many retailers are finding out, as they make adjustments and various power moves to get their online sales to swing upward. Same-day delivery has been one of those services the big retailers like Google, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, and more have all centered their efforts toward it. It has all the ingredients that appears to be giving e-retailers the boost they need.

    Companies are not only limiting themselves to creating same-day delivery, but they also see extensive growth with tapping into same-day pickup. New shopping start-up company, Curbside, is doing just that, literally offering customers the ability to pickup their online products the same day--at the curb. Curbside has just announced the launching of its' mobile app for same-day pick up. The newcomer is backed by a $9.5 million seed money, plus a Series A funding. Most big retailers are headed in the other direction with same-day delivery, however, Curbside is seeking to cater to the consumer market that will locally pick up.

    Curbside has store retailer Target on board, as ten stores in several greater San Francisco Bay area cities will be offering the service. Target's location in the Westfield Oakridge shopping center will also have curbside pick up available. This could very well be just the beginning for Curbside because if it's customers flock to it, more than likely it will be a hit at other US store retailers. In the report, according to comScore, e-commerce as a whole, including mobile, is growing at 11%, however, mobile commerce is growing at 47%. This is another driver for Curbside's case to go same-day pick up versus same-day delivery.

    “We’re data geeks, I guess,” stated co-founder Jaron Waldman in the article regarding why they dove into creating the new mobile app. “We were really interested in the idea that nobody had figured out the real-time inventory problem in retail.” Both Waldman, and other co-founder Denis Laprise, are former Apple engineers, which speaks to their ability to create Curbside. Waldman went on to share his view on m-commerce stating, “Your phone’s a remote control...You should be able to transact against the business, rather than just find the business and be routed to it”.

    Same-day pick up may not have the headlines as same-day delivery, however, the service does work. It can also promote awareness to same-day delivery by offering customers either option. Department store leader Macy's recently announced it will jump into the race for same-day delivery this fall. It will launch the service in multiple, large US cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, D.C., New Jersey, and San Jose. Sister store Bloomingdale's will be following suit in some of these cities also. Since Macy's has the physical store locations to meet demand, it makes sense to offer same-day store pick up curbside.

    This definitely appears to get physical store retailers an extra lift in sales with the same-day pick up alternative. One plus for customers is that they can use a same-day courier like A-1 Express to perform their same-day pick up from their mobile app. The Philadelphia courier has a national footprint and mobile app also, covering all major and minor cities in the US. Customers that can't pick up at the store can contact A-1 Express to pick up and deliver to wherever they are in no time. The courier can also be a viable source for companies to correct pick up errors and store returns as well.

    Reference: 10.6.14,, Sarah Perez, Backed By $9.5 Million, Curbside Launches A Mobile Shopping App For Same-Day Pickup, Not Delivery


    Joint Venture of Alibaba And Amazon Means Same-Day Delivery Growth

    If you think about online retail right now, you probably will have Amazon at the top of the list, as well as Google and eBay. Yet, there is a newcomer that is currently local to China with plans to expand. With a lot of momentum, Alibaba is becoming well-known very fast. Even to the extent of being compared to the likes of Amazon. There is even now discussion of the e-retailer teaming up with Amazon to gain more online market.

    Alibaba is a China-based online retailer, similar to Amazon, that has expressed it is open to a joint venture with Amazon. CNN Money reported last week how Alibaba's co-founder and CEO Jack Ma in an interview with Bloomberg News on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, stated that he would welcome partnering with the American online giant. He stated, "I would be interested in talking because as always, anything, anybody that involves helping small business we will feel excited". It appears Alibaba is optimistic about it's current stance in the world of e-commerce and to team up with Amazon will do volumes for expanding, especially in the US.

    Alibaba could gain much from Amazon's established footprint in the US. Amazon has a number of distribution centers strategically in major US cities, which Alibaba could gain from. This is one of the differences the two online retailers have. Alibaba doesn't have robust fulfillment centers and does not own most of its' sold items. Also, Amazon has 132,000 employees to support its' efficient operation, compared to Alibaba much smaller employee base. However, at a certain point, a joint venture between the two would end, if they begin seeking after the same customers. Ma wrote in a letter to employees this year, "Lying behind the massive allure of the capital market, there is unparalleled ruthlessness and pressure. In this market, only a small number of outstanding enterprises can maintain a gallop."

    What type of partnership Alibaba and Amazon could create, only time will tell. Yet, once the time comes to ultimately get the online products to their shoppers' front door, it probably would involve same-day delivery. Amazon has impacted the physical store and web-based retailers with its' aggressive implementation of same-day delivery, which gets customers their products fast. It's distribution centers have been built to support the service and now Amazon has been rolling out same-day delivery in multiple cities. This includes a launch in early August in New York City, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Dallas. Also, Amazon's most recent announcement offering same-day delivery in Atlanta and a number of surrounding metro cities.

    Physical store retailers are definitely gleaning from Amazon and implementing same-day delivery as well. Barnes & Noble is partnering with Google to offer same-day delivery of its' books in several cities. Google Shopping Express affords brick-and-mortar retailers a partner to offer their store products to be delivered the same day also. Brand department store leader Macy's has also recently announced partnering with Deliv and join the race for same-day delivery. It will begin this fall offering it in Chicago, San Jose, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, D.C. and New Jersey. Bloomingdale's will be doing the same in some of those cities also.

    Amazon has stated it will utilize its' own fleet to perform its' deliveries, however, other retailers don't have to. A number of retailers are partnering with a same-day courier like A-1 Express to perform the deliveries for them. The Seattle courier has a national footprint and can quickly implement a same-day logistics solution. A-1 Express can be a one-stop source for same-day delivery, store returns and even shoppers can utilize the courier as well relative to their online purchases. For Amazon and Alibaba, even mentioning a partnership shows that other companies should become even more innovative to increase their online growth, or it may get hard trying to swim upstream in a dominated market.

    Reference: 9.19.14, CNN Money, Jesse Solomon, An Amazon-Alibaba deal? It's possible