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Google Express and the Future of E-Commerce

Posted on May 20, 2014 by Alexander Diegel

Google Express and the Future of E-Commerce

Earlier this month, Google announced the expansion of “Google Shopping Express,” a same-day delivery service that promises products will be presented to consumers’ doors just hours after making their purchase online.

On its first day of operation in Manhattan, the service was such a success that, in a way, it was a complete failure: By noon on the first day, shipments were backed up to the point that Google Shopping Express had to shut down early, informing customers that it couldn’t handle anymore deliveries for the day. Customers are supposed to be able to shop as late as 4:30PM, at which point they would receive their order no later than 9:30 PM.

For now, Google Shopping Express is only operational in San Francisco and Manhattan, but if growing trends are a precursor to the future, you can bet that this service is coming to a city near you. In fact, Google is just the latest of a number of name-brand companies trying their hand at same-day delivery.

By now we have all heard of the Amazon “drones,” but other than being a big marketing success, everything else about the service is very much up in the air (no pun intended). However, after watching a number of third-party delivery services fail to live up to their end of the bargain, especially during the Christmas rush, Amazon began its less futuristic “Amazon Fresh” service in June of last year, and promises to deliver groceries straight to consumers’ doors on the day they are ordered. These services are only functional in Southern California, San Francisco and Seattle, but, again, expect rapid growth sooner rather than later.

Additionally, a number of popular retailers, such as American Apparel, Best Buy, Finish Line and Dick’s Sporting Goods have begun to combat the convenience of services like Amazon by deploying their own brand of same-day delivery. Brick-and-mortar retailers across the globe have seen their businesses take a hit by e-commerce giants, and are now trying to leverage these stores as a way to beat Amazon at its own game with the innate advantages that having physical locations across the country offer.

The aforementioned retailers, and many more, are treating their traditional stores as glorified online shipping fulfillment centers, delivering goods straight to shoppers from their nearest locations. From this vantage point, the retailers have a huge advantage over Amazon and Google, and can beat the giants at their own game.

This method of fulfilling customer needs is something all retailers, regardless of size or prestige, must take heed of. Speed is the future of e-commerce, and same-day deliveries will be the norm across the industry sooner, rather than later. Not only is it simply a must to stay ahead of changes within the industry, but there are also a number of added benefits that store owners can take advantage of that will help them compete against the giants like Amazon and Google Express, and build their respective brand.

By shipping locally, retailers can lower delivery costs, and thus increase their ability to offer free shipping, without taking a hit to the bottom line. As an added bonus, retailers can cut down on the third-party cuts they must give to have their products represented by the online retailers.

The theory of local deliveries sounds great, but the practice can prove difficult to manage. The Spree Commerce hub allows for customizable tracking of orders and shipments. It can instantly update inventory, regardless of what channel the sale is coming from, and send texts and/or emails to the necessary parties, a key function for the have-it-now philosophy of today’s shoppers. To learn more about the hub, read up on our documentation, or request a free demo today!

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