After Amazon announced yesterday that it is expanding its same-day delivery service in six U.S. cities, Barnes & Noble is taking a stab at the online giant. The chain is partnering with Google's new shopping service, Google Shopping, to offer same-day delivery in three U.S. cities.
Through the deal, three B&N locations--in Manhattan, Marina del Ray, Calif., and Los Angeles--will rely on Google's technology to allow local customers to purchase, and receive, products on on the same day. (And orders made through Google Shopping will not be processed at B&N but, instead, through Google.)
As the New York Times reported, the effort marks a test for both Google and B&N, with each looking to take market share away from Amazon. While B&N is eager to regain a stronger foothold in the bookselling arena, Google, as the Times pointed out, has a desire to maintain its search engine advertising business, which Amazon, with its popularity as an online destination, has the potential to undercut.
The small roll-out of the partnership, is reflective, more than anything else, B&N said, of the young nature of Google Shopping, which was rolled out about a year ago. Jaime Carey, chief merchandising officer at B&N, told PW that "it's early in the program for Google" but the retailer is in the partnership for the "long haul.
Carey sees the Google program as something which not only serves current customers, but which has the potential to bring in new customers with Google Shopping offering "another access point" to B&N. When asked about the viability of the program, since a number of same-day delivery services have come and gone over the years, Carey said other services are largely bringing in products from delivery centers. Because Google Shopping is working with local stores, Carey said the "speed to market" is greater, and noted that customers can order something during the day and it will arrive in a "manner of hours."
"We're all in," Carey explained. "We feel [Google] presents a very good customer experience and we see this as a long term relationship."