Google mulls Amazon Prime-like service

Posted by Mark Raby

As a fellow online powerhouse, Amazon is a natural target for Google, and now the search giant is trying to take on Amazon in its home turf.

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Google is working on a service that would allow customers an easy and cost-effective way to buy products online and have them delivered the next day.

It would be a clear competitor to Amazon Prime, which gives users unlimited free two-day shipping on products for an annual fee of $79.

Unlike Amazon, though, Google would not be its own retailer. It would simply offer the affordable and expedient shipping service. The company is reportedly talking to the online divisions of Macy's, Gap, and Office Max, among others.

Google is also discussing plans with UPS and other regional package delivery services. This is a very inflexible market, though, so it's unclear what Google could be offering these companies as an incentive.

It would likely be an extension of Google's existing e-commerce platform, which acts sort of like Paypal in giving users a streamlined way to pay for products across a variety of websites.

Amazon's Prime service has gained significant new attention since it started offering additional access such as instant video streaming and online cloud storage.

For Google, the differentiating factor would be that the service is available wherever the customer wants to shop.