Google tests same-day deliveries

Amazon is shipping a large screen, high-definition version of its popular Kindle Fire tablet computers. (Reed Saxon, AP)
Amazon is shipping a large screen, high-definition version of its popular Kindle Fire tablet computers. (Reed Saxon, AP)

San Francisco - Google on Thursday began testing a service for same-day delivery of toys, clothing, groceries or other items ordered online in what could be a challenge to online retail titan Amazon.

People living in San Francisco or a swath of Silicon Valley from the cities of San Jose to San Mateo were invited to take part in "a new experiment" that the internet colossus dubbed Google Shopping Express.

"It's a local delivery service that we hope will make it possible for you to get the items you order online the same day, and at a low cost," product management director Tom Fallows said in a blog post.

"The pilot will expand as we work out the kinks."

The service is part of an effort by the Mountain View, California-based firm to "bring the speed of the Web to the real world," according to Fallows.

People enrolled in the test programme will be able to shop at a single online venue for products from retailers such as Target, Walgreens, American Eagle, Toys R Us, and San Francisco's coveted Blue Bottle Coffee.

"So hopefully, no more trips across town for simple errands," Fallows said.

Pricing for Google Shopping Express had yet to be determined so people testing the service were being offered six months of free, unlimited orders for same-day deliveries.

Amazon entices shoppers with a Prime service that offers free two-day shipping on orders along with online streaming of films and television shows for an annual subscription fee of $79.

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