Google Says It's Not Teaming with USPS on Same-Day Delivery
By Ina Steiner
The race for same-day delivery is on, with eBay, Amazon, Walmart and other retailers all vying to get there first. Last week, the USPS said it was testing same-day delivery through a pilot program in San Francisco called Metro Post. An industry insider told EcommerceBytes that the USPS was working with an aggregator on the Metro Post program, and hinted it could be a company like Google.
There have been rumors of Google entering the same-day (or nearly same-day) delivery space since last year, when the Wall Street Journal said Google was in talks with major retailers and shippers about creating a service that would let consumers shop for goods online and receive their orders within a day for a low fee.
EcommerceBytes reached out to Google and asked if it was currently working with the USPS Metro Post, and a spokesperson responded, "We're not an initial partner with the USPS service you mentioned."
According to the USPS filing with the Postal Regulatory Filing, the Metro Post market test, which will begin on or shortly after November 12, 2012, "is specifically designed for online e-commerce companies and their associated retailers to deliver products to buyers in a unique and timely manner, provided that the buyers live within the specified metropolitan area in the vicinity of the participating locations."
What other "aggregators" would be likely candidates? Shipping carriers must have knowledge of local availability of inventory at the SKU level, and in its filing, the USPS said its Metro Post delivery service "will feature a unique relationship with qualifying online e-commerce companies and their associated retailers, which is unlike any other service offering currently provided by the Postal Service."
Amazon.com doesn't display in-store inventory availability the way Google does, but eBay does through its Milo acquisition. eBay is already testing same-day delivery in San Francisco for retail partners.
It seems unlikely the USPS would work with only one company in the long term, but it would be interesting to know who its early partners are when the test kicks off next month.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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