In our work on mobile more than voice services in 2008-10, we pointed to the need for delivery services, if e commerce was to catch in emerging Asia. Google is offering to close the gap, for consumers and retailers in the US. Who will close the gap in Asia?
In another foray into commerce, Google is working on a delivery service that would let people order items from local stores on the Web and receive them at their homes or offices within a day.
The service is in an early testing phase, and it was described by three people briefed on the project who were not authorized to speak about it publicly before it was announced. It is part of a bigger, strategic effort by Google to move beyond its core search business by helping people buy things, not just find them.
Other parts of this strategy include Google Wallet to make payments by cellphone, Google Offers for daily deals, apps that show location-based mobile ads and product search for local stores.
The idea behind the new delivery service is that people searching for products online or on their phones could buy something from a local retailer or the local branches of nationwide chains, and could then take the next step — delivery — through Google.