Google Attempts to Become the Next Amazon

By: Adam Chadbourne

In the shopping market today, there are not just brick-and-mortar stores anymore. With the rise of technology, “omnichannel shopping” (Shoat), or shopping through the internet, mobile phones, and in-store has become the norm in society. One of the biggest retailers on the internet is Amazon, which focuses on selling a variety of goods, such as movies, books, and pieces of technology that can be delivered right to one’s doorstep. Amazon has been an established company for many years and people feel that no other company can compete with Amazon, based on their prices and fast shipping. Google is now attempting to follow Amazon by developing their own marketplace, called Google Express.

In the American Marketing Association article, entitled Google Targets Holiday Shoppers With Same-Day Shipping by Molly Shoat, the author describes how Google has started its own online retailing service to compete with Amazon and others. Google has become a partner with multiple retailers, such as Costco, Toys R’ Us, Barnes and Noble, Walgreens, Target, and more, to bring a variety of goods, including electronics, books, clothes and groceries, directly to consumers. Their concept is similar to that of Amazon Prime: for a membership fee, people using Google Express can order items and have it shipped to their house that day. Customers can find the items by logging into Google Express and seeing what items are available, or by typing in a product name into the Google search engine and seeing if it pops up or not. As Google Express is only in its initial stages, it is only available in San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., and Chicago; however, there are additional developing markets, such as New York City and Detroit. How might Google Express affect the consumer decision making process?

In the textbook, the Consumer Decision Making Process states how consumers can come to make a purchase decision. There are various factors that can affect a decision, such as value of the item, its distribution network, the way it is marketed, or available technology. The process itself is also a cycle that has multiple stages, including problem recognition, search for information, evaluation of alternative solution, product choice decision, and post-purchase assessment. Google Express may factor into this cycle. Say a consumer wants to buy the latest videogame system (problem recognition) and they want to find a location where they sell that product and the prices at each (search for information). The consumer can accomplish these things by doing a simple Google search for the product, and they will most likely find multiple sellers and be able to compare them (evaluation of alternative solution). With Google Express, by searching an item, one can see multiple retailers that sell the product and the price they are charging. After determining which solution is best, consumers can decide which one to buy (product choice decision), and with Google Express they can make the purchase straight from Google. After they receive the item, they can leave reviews on the Google Express forum or directly on the seller’s page (post-purchase assessment). While there are pros of Google Express, it is far from flawless.

Google Express has not engaged in a lot of advertising, which has hurt awareness, resulting in less activity on the site. Also, Google Express has not done as much business as other online sellers, such as Amazon or eBay, because they have a limited distribution network. If the person buying the product lives directly in San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., or Chicago, they should not have a problem getting a product from Google Express, but if they are not, then they are out of luck. Without being able to gain access to items sold through Google Express because of destination limits, consumers will be more inclined to go elsewhere to get their products, whether it be a physical or online retailer. Google Express has shown signs of improving, and they may be able to spread their coverage in the future, but as for now, the flaws are driving customers to different locations.

In conclusion, Google Express has the potential to be a direct competitor with Amazon. Google Express can affect the entire cycle of the Consumer Decision Making Process and can also get the items to customers with one day shipping. The distribution network for Google Express needs much improvement though, since they only deliver to certain locations, and it causes customers to go elsewhere for their products. Once Google Express improves its marketing and distribution channels, it might offer some stiff competition for other online retailers, specifically Amazon.

Sources:

https://www.ama.org/publications/eNewsletters/Marketing-News-Weekly/Pages/google-express.aspx

http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/michigan/2015/09/08/google-express-michigan/71874306/

 

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21 thoughts on “Google Attempts to Become the Next Amazon

  1. Skye Stewart: Portfolio November 25, 2015 / 12:36 am

    I agree with your comment that “…Google Express has the potential to be a direct competitor with Amazon.” I have never heard of Google Express until reading this blog post, but I think it could turn into something great. A lot of people usual shop around to find the best price, so Google express allows people to use only one site while checking on the price of one product in multiple websites. This is convenient and makes shopping for a product much easier. As Google is already a very well known company, they probably wanted to test-run the idea before they decided to go full speed with it. I can understand why Google Express is only available in select cities. Any people that are huge Google fans will most likely try out Google Express. Google can leave it to their loyal customers to do the advertising and work of mouth for them (for now).

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  2. zhengyang zhu November 25, 2015 / 2:04 am

    As the development of Online business, the traditional retail industry was impact by Online business. Each of company wants to grab the customers and sell their products online. Undoubtedly, Google Express has the potential to be a direct competitor with Amazon.

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  3. Kimberly Martin November 28, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Before this article I had never heard of Google Express before and I do think it has potential. If people buy online a lot this is a nice avenue that shows them the various prices across retailers and what the cheapest price available is. It kind of reminds me of like an Expedia or Kayak, where they show you a variety of hotels and you can see all of their prices. I think they will have a hard to competing with Amazon just because most people already have an Amazon Prime account and most likely will not purchase another account for a different company that essentially does the same thing. I also think only being available in limited cities currently will hurt the chances of Google Express growing. Also I’m not sure this service adds to the Consumer Decision Making Process all that much. If people see Google Express show up but then they see that they have to pay for it to see other retailers prices, I think that might detour people from the site because they know they do not have to pay on other sites.

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  4. Olivia Martin November 30, 2015 / 2:00 am

    Before reading this article I had no idea what Google Express was. Although I think that it can one day evolve into a direct competitor for Amazon, I think it will have a lot of trouble initially. I think that a lot of people who already use Amazon are going to stick to using it since it provides continuous users with a lot of convenience. For example Amazon remembers all my information (address, credit card number ect), so that I don’t have to reenter it for future purchases. Additionally, Amazon suggest products that I might like based off of my past purchases and searches. Due to these reasons and the comfort of knowing what to expect, I don’t know how easy it will be for Google to convince consumers to make the switch to buying products from them instead. I definitely think that the concept of same day shipping is a big plus for Google Express, and that they should continue to use that as their competitive advantage over other online retailers.

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  5. Melissa Miller November 30, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    I was surprised learning that Google Express was available in Boston because I have never heard of it. I think like you said they have done little to promote is the reasoning behind why I have never heard of it. I think that Google Express has the potetial to be successful in this marketplace. They are still in the begining phase of the Product Life Cycle. I think as consumers become more familar and aware with Google Express they will be able to start to compete with online shopping powerhouse Amazon. For now, I think people will tend to stick with Amazon. Considering they already are paying for Amazon Prime it seems irrational to pay for two memberships that offer similar products. However, I do feel that people who are not committed to Amazon may give Google Express a try. Either way Google Express does have a lot of potential to thrive in this marketplace.

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  6. Christina Sagarino November 30, 2015 / 7:22 pm

    I believe that this idea Google has come up with is a great one and definitely has the potential to be better than Amazon. Many people compare prices when shopping online and this site makes it easier to get the different prices and places of purchase in one place. I think that Google definitely has the money to market their site to people and get it out there more which confuses me as to why they haven’t really done much for it yet. I have not heard of it until seeing this blog post. I think that the site is a really great idea and could definitely prosper.

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  7. sarajanecox November 30, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    This article is my first knowledge of Google Express. Currently, in the online space Amazon is truly one of a kind. There really are not many websites comparable to Amazon. Google saw potential to create competition for Amazon creating Google Express. Personally I believe this is a perfect opportunity for Google. Google has partnered up with some popular brands to give consumers a wide variety of products. Google’s products range from electronics, books, clothes, and groceries. Much like Amazon prime they are implementing a same day fee for same day shipments. It is beneficial for Google to tap into this specific online market because they will essentially only have one major competitor. One potential problem for Google Express if their overall lack of advertisement. This article was the first time I have heard about Google Express. Although it is intriguing i was completely unaware of its existence. Since they are still within beginning stages they should really create a strong marketing strategy specifically for Google Express to generate major awareness. Promotion, advertising, and marketing of this new Google platform will be essential for success.

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  8. Courtney Aznavoorian (@CourtneyGraceAz) November 30, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    I think that Google Express could potentially be very successful. Google itself is already very well known and used the most as a search engine. If they started promoting it more and made people more aware that it exists and what benefits it offers over Amazon, it could gain a lot more attention. I did not know about it at all before reading this, but it is a very good concept.

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  9. coskrenp December 1, 2015 / 12:05 am

    When I first heard about Google Express my first thought was why have I not heard of this sooner? Over the last several years I have sought out a site or engine to compare websites for the best price on products. Much like what Kimberly said this idea reminds me of the travel and booking sites currently available. With such a great idea in combination the power and capability of Google, at first I could not understand why they have not rolled this out to the masses. Why would they be slow to reveal such a great concept, which could very well compete with Amazon? Then it hit me, why do it twice when you can do it right once.

    At this time Google Express is limited and in infant stages. The choice to implement this at a slower pace and do it right will allow them the chance to grab interest and more importantly maintain it. What I mean by this is that it is easier to grab the attention on possible consumers than to preserve it. Therefore, if they take their time and do it right the first time there would be more customers who have such a good experience they not only return but pass along positive word of mouth marketing. I am very interested and eager to see how Google attempts to make an effort to compete with Amazon.

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  10. Zach Pelletier December 1, 2015 / 4:54 am

    Before reading this article, I had not heard of Google Express. I believe that that in itself is a problem. Anytime a new website or shopping platform is introduced, advertisements are usually streamed over the radio, aired on television, and plastered on billboards. No such advertising has been done for Google Express. You would think that if they are trying to target holiday shoppers, more advertising would have been done. The destination limits also put a huge constraint on who can use Google Express. With Amazon being the powerhouse of online shopping, I do not believe that Google Express stands a chance to become as powerful as a shopping platform as them.

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  11. Matthew E. Dulac December 2, 2015 / 6:27 pm

    Prior to reading this article, I had heard of Google Express but only to a small degree. I didn’t research it until now and I feel that it could one day be a serious competitor to Amazon following my analysis. I, however, also feel that it will have trouble in the beginning stages because Amazon has incredibly low margins and Google would have to contend with this. Google has the talent within their organization to compete with Amazon and this is one thing that Google has going for them. In order for Google to attract customers away from Amazon, they would have to offer monetary savings and programs that would be better and more accessible. This would be very challenging in the short term but in the long term, this would definitely be possible.

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  12. James Wegman December 4, 2015 / 1:33 am

    Doesn’t Google have enough money? I have heard about this also in the news. I know that Google is pretty much the Disney of the internet. A big corporation that will one day take over the industry and buy everything out. It is everywhere. Amazon should beware of this if Google does go all the way and tries to be the next “Amazon.” Google Express, with access to Google’s information on people with YouTube videos, auto fill information, and web browing could create suggestions for people to show them the next products they can buy. To help better their shopping experience, by knowing who the customer is and taking advantage.

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  13. Kedar Gandbhir December 5, 2015 / 4:16 am

    I never heard of Google Express until reading this blog post. It will undoubtable be a player and a competitive foe to Amazon. There will be some difficulties in the beginning because Amazon is such a well developed and respected company. Google is trying to take over the internet, and certainly have capability but loyal customers will most likely stay with Amazon.

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  14. Michelle McNall December 6, 2015 / 5:30 am

    Similar to what many others have commented, I, too, had no idea about Google Express until hearing about it from Adam. This surprises me especially because it is an entity of Google which is by far one of the most recognizable search engines on the Internet used by many people across the globe. One would think that a large company like Google, with all of its creativity and competencies, would do a better job of advertising such a service- especially in today’s society that has become so infatuated with online shopping. It is interesting reading this with the holidays in mind as it was just recently reported (post-Black Friday) that most of the Black Friday shopping this year was actually done online rather than in-store which is really a true turning point in our consumer behavior history. Therefore, the potential success of Google Express does not just depend solely on whether there is demand in the market for the service (clearly there is demand for this service given consumer trends leading to increasing online shopping) but the success will depend if Google Express can successfully penetrate the market and start to gain loyal followers (those switching over from Amazon etc). Seeing as I have never heard of Google Express until now, I think that this service has a long way to go before it can ever intimidate Amazon but it certainly has the potential to become a top competitor in the future once it gains the trust of consumers and establishes a loyal customer base. Great job, Adam!

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  15. Taylor Mason December 6, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    I found this presentation to be interesting because prior to hearing these facts I had never heard about Google Express before. I definitely agree with Adam when he essentially says that omni-channel marketing is one of the newest channels in today’s society. Brick and mortar stores are beginning to disappear and more and more consumers are beginning to purchase their products through the e-commerce distribution channel. I have utilized Amazon my whole life and personally I believe that they will be a hard competitor to face. Since they already have an established brand within this market it may be hard to gain a consumer base at first. I also agree with Adam when he explains the advertisement factor of it all. Again, I had never heard of it prior to this presentation and I am sure that there are others in a similar situation. Now that we are approaching the holiday season it may be beneficial to develop and enhance their promotional strategies in order to acquire more business and revenue. I do believe Google Express is a good idea, however in order to keep up with direct competitors such as Amazon they will need to further develop their strategy.

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  16. Emily Koba December 7, 2015 / 2:51 pm

    I had heard of Google Express before this presentation, however I had no idea of its plans to partner with so many popular retailers. I think Google Express definitely has potential to become a successful same-day shipment service for consumers, however I believe that they definitely need to increase promotion and marketing for this service. For example, Google should target those with gmail accounts in the areas that Google Express is offered. By sending promotions or simple emails that describe Google Express’s services, consumers would be more aware and more apt to use Google Express. Or they could incorporate promotion for Google Express into google searches so customers can have the option of getting products delivered via google express as opposed to having to wait 3-5 business days. This service definitely has potential but Google needs to put more effort into increasing customer awareness.

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  17. Sam Velonis December 8, 2015 / 12:05 am

    Prior to hearing this presentation, I had not heard of Google Express before. I see the potential here but to be completely honest, I do not see this as a serious threat to Amazon. Amazon has been around for 20+ years and has perfected the online shopping process. As an Amazon Prime subscriber, I have nothing but good things to say about my many experiences. Prices are extremely competitive, the products are always exactly as described and the customer service is top-notch. My purchases are delivered right to my doorstep in two or three days without the hassle of driving to the store and dealing with crowds. Personally, Google Express would need to offer some sort of additional benefit for me to even consider using their services over Amazon. Amazon is too hot right now, and I do not see Google Express being able to compete effectively with this current business model.

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  18. Giulia Palombo December 8, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    I love same day delivery!! However, I don’t believe Google has done a good enough job in communicating their availability of this to consumers. Personally, I feel Google may run into a question of security based upon how this works. I think Amazon is more well-known for security, as when you search for items online with Google you at times get illegitmate items or questionable websites. However, after Amazon’s employee scandal, hopefully someone will knock them down a peg.

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  19. Rebecca Armstrong December 10, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    Google is a very trusted name and brand for consumers. They have been breaking into different markets and are able to do this because of their brand name. They have the potential to lead the industry in this new market. They do however need to promote more on this. Amazon and Ebay are two big companies in this industry and they have already developed customer loyalty and trust with the consumers and they are very well known. I believe if Google promotes their Google Express more people will start using it more. It may take time for them to become competitive with the big brand names in the industry but they already have a wellknown and trusting name which gives them an edge,

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  20. Alyssa Crowley December 10, 2015 / 6:27 pm

    Skimming the comments above, it seemed to be a reoccurring statement that not many of us have heard about Google Express. Though they have struggled with getting the word out about their new service, I believe Google will be a strong competitor for Amazon. Google is a well-known, respected brand that has already put in efforts to team up with other well-known stores to show its dedication for this new idea. Google is no stranger to entering new markets against strong competitors. When you think of innovative technology Apple is a name that comes to many consumers minds but Google is right there with them. To see how well Google can compete in different markets gives me faith that they will be successful with this new service. The one improvement they must make is to better communicate their products and services to their consumers.

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  21. Craig Wyszomirski December 15, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    I truly believe that Google could overthrow Amazon, I think that people trust will trust Google more so then they will continue to be loyal to Amazon. If Google can offer some type of rewards program or at least a beneficial giveaway for switching from Amazon to Google then there is no doubt they will emerge on top. Like you said though they will need to expand more delivering to more locations if they want to dominate.

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