Watch out Instacart and Amazon Fresh, Google is going head-to-head against fresh-grocery delivery startups and services with a service expansion. Google Express, which has been around for a while, is now expanding to fresh-grocery deliveries in parts of San Francisco and Los Angeles.
You can now order tomatoes, milk, bread and all sorts of fresh groceries from Google Express. Like on the rest of the service, Google is partnering with existing shops. It looks like the company is working with Costco, Whole Foods, Nob Hill Foods and more. Google Express also handles frozen products and booze in case you really need a bottle of wine with your dinner.
Every time your order something, it costs you $2.99 if you’re a Google Express member, or $4.99 if you’re not a member. You can become a member for $95 a year. If that sounds familiar, it’s because this membership model is comparable to Amazon Prime Fresh and Instacart Express.
Only a few customers are eligible for now, but this is an important move for the company as companies like Fresh Direct and Instacart are facing challenges as it is much harder to scale a delivery business when you don’t have a huge pile of cash to back your plans like Google.
Google can scale this service much more quickly than Amazon Fresh as it doesn’t need its own warehouses. By partnering with Costco, Whole Foods and others, the company can’t have the same margins as Amazon, but it also doesn’t have the same infrastructure bottlenecks as Amazon.
Today’s small rollout feels like Google is still testing fresh-grocery deliveries. If it works in these two test markets, the company might expand to other Google Express cities.
You can also order from dozens of other stores on Google Express, such as Target, Staples, Office Depot, Walgreens, Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble and more. Same-day deliveries on non-fresh products are also available in San Jose, Manhattan, Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC. As a bonus, you’ll get a warm fuzzy feeling by letting Google knows everything about your shopping habits.