Google Shopping Express: This is the Future

I recently got a beta invite to Google's new same-day shopping service, and it's pretty cool. The selection of stores and goods is pretty limited at the moment– Walgreens, Raley's, Target, and a few office supply outlets– but the UX is great, with plenty of whitespace, quick, logical navigation, and little touches like tracking your delivery by GPS.

A few notes:

  • The largest items I found were basketball hoops from Toys 'R Us, and printer/copiers from Office Depot. The most expensive was a $650 HP convertible tablet.
  • Groceries are limited to non-perishable, and non-age-restricted items (no, Google won't bring you a six-pack or smokes).
  • It looks like the standard delivery price is $4.99 a store, but waived for beta testers.
  • Deliveries happen in three hour blocks, and the earlier ones tend to "sell out" pretty quickly. It's hard to tell exactly what the minimum lead time for an order is.
  • On certain lower-priced items, you can let the shopper find a substitute if the original is not available. The substitution is guaranteed to be of equal or lower price.

So far, I've just done a single order– paper towels, coffee, and some chai tea mix, delivered to my apartment while I was at work. The deliveryperson left it with a housemate, and when I got home, a shiny white Google bag was waiting with my stuff. Maybe the delivery fee will temper my enthusiasm once the trial period is over, but for now, it's pretty darn cool.

Need a beta invite? Email me.