Google on Tuesday will expand its two-day delivery service to more than 40 million new customers in the Midwest, which includes Kansas City.
Google Express will go live for Kansas City consumers who want quick delivery from certain merchants. Google’s announcement takes place the same day that Amazon plans to break ground on its second distribution center in Kansas City, Kan.
Google’s announcement adds competition in the online retail delivery business, one that Amazon has dominated since introducing its Amazon Prime service. Like Amazon Prime, Google Express promises two-day delivery for most orders.
And like Amazon Prime, Google Express offers an annual subscription for the service. An annual membership to Google Express is $95 a year, slightly less than Amazon Prime’s $99 rate. Google Express customers who want to skip the membership can pay $4.99 per order.
Unlike Amazon Prime, which largely ships its products from fulfillment centers, Google Express teams up with select retailers and helps them get products to a consumer’s door.
“We partner up with merchants, we give them tools and technology to help them use in their stores,” said Brian Elliott, general manager of Google Express.
Among the 20 retailers Google Express works with in Kansas City are Costco, Barnes & Noble, PetSmart, Kohl’s, Guitar Center, Walgreens and Whole Foods.
Google Express plans to start with a two-day delivery promise for Kansas City customers. The company may migrate to overnight delivery.
“We’re going to add overnight delivery over time as we get more stores and demonstrate that we can do that more often,” Elliott said.
Google Express made its debut about three years ago in large cities, such as Chicago and San Francisco. A year ago, it expanded to markets in the Great Lakes region. Its latest expansion ventures from Texas to North Dakota, Missouri to Colorado.