Google Express has commenced delivering fresh produce and perishable goods in some parts of the United States. The same-day delivery of fresh groceries is now initially available in some parts of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Rather than relying on warehouses, Google is joining forces with retailers to deliver goods to consumers within hours after they placed their orders. It thinks that veering away from stocking the products has hastened the service and has helped in making fresh-food delivery possible.
Now, the company goes head-to-head with its competitors in this field like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Fresh Direct and Safeway Inc. On the other hand, it teams up with Whole Foods Market, Costco Wholesale, Smart and Final Stores, and Vicente's Supermarket.
To accommodate fresh groceries, the company is making adjustments to its present delivery operation. For instance, instead of four hours, Google is reducing the delivery window down to two hours.
With regard to the minimum price for orders that include fresh groceries, Google Express is raising it to $35 instead of $15. However, people who are already members of Google Express will only have to fork out $3 for fresh food deliveries.
The yearly membership for Google Express costs $95. Meanwhile, non-members will need to shell out $5 for every single order. It can even increase depending on the size or availability of the items purchased.
It seems, though, that this is a risky endeavor for Google. The Wall Street Journal says that the field Google is stepping into has historically proven to have high delivery costs and low profit margins of around 2 percent on grocery sales.
As early as September 2015, Tech Times reported that Google was gearing up in offering its new same-day grocery deliver service.
During the time, Google said it has the plan of rolling out this service in San Francisco and a second unnamed city (now Los Angeles).
Back then, Brian Elliot, Google Express General Manager, said Google has already inked a deal with Whole Foods Market and Costco Wholesale to deliver grocery items such as vegetables, fruits and other fresh produce, to consumers.