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Google Set To Launch Local Delivery Service

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google is testing a local delivery service to bolster its online commerce services

Google is reportedly working on a delivery service that would bring it into competition with Amazon Prime.

The new service would allow people to order items from local retailers and have them delivered within the day, according to the New York Times.

Next Day Delivery

The project is apparently in an early testing phase, but represents Google’s latest venture into commerce as part of its plans to diversify its business by helping people to buy things, not just to find them.

According to sources close to the project, Google has no intentions to open shops and warehouses in order to become a retailer itself, but has spoken to a number of retailers and couriers about the possibility of becoming partners.

Google hopes to sell advertising to merchants, although it is not yet clear whether Google will take a cut of revenues made from sales.

Potential locations for the service include San Francisco and New York and Google hopes that the service will be fully integrated into its Android mobile operating system and Google+ social network.

Blurring Lines

The service could eventually compete with the Amazon Prime delivery service which offers UK users unlimited one day delivery for £49 per year. This means that many shoppers search for items via Amazon directly, rather than searching for them in Google.

In April, Google launched Google Offers, a competitor to Groupon, which allowed people in Portland, Oregon to search for discounts for local restaurants, bars and other establishments. Its commerce portfolio has also been strengthened by Google Wallet, a service which allows users to pay for goods using near-field communication (NFC) technology.

However it is not the only technology company diversifying. Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has encroached on territory recently occupied by Google, whose Andoid powered devices compete with the Apple iPad.