Did you know about Google Express? I didn’t.
It was by shear chance I ran across it. It was the holidays for 2017 and I was late in the game searching for someplace to buy Google Home Mini’s while the price was still low. Of course, searching on Amazon was less than productive. Of course, they are going to bury their direct competitors product.
So, I Google searched and ran across a Google Site that said I could get a Walmart Discount with an order for the Google Home Mini. Following the links, it took me to Google Express.
The home page had a whole bunch of brick and mortar stores across it’s home splash page. Some I frequent, but always wished they had an online ordering presence. Could this be it?! My interest was piqued.
And the list of sites seems fairly extensive. Check here. Honestly, this is was a shopping concept that is a natural evolution for the survival of the stores since the big A is such an incredibly monolithic presence in online sales.
I decided to search for a Google Home Mini through Google Express. The search results for some reason defaulted to WalMart and only WalMart. When I chased the product links, the devices were unavailable. Shucks, my timing was too slow. But it left me scratching my head because I was absolutely certain that every retailer couldn’t be completely out.
For instance, I searched Target on Google Express. Yes, the Target store site did show they had them available, but Google Express showed no results like the store didn’t have them at all. I ultimately went direct to the Google online store and ordered what I wanted without using Google Express to ensure availability.
But CostCo was there! And we were in need of a big box run for some bulk essentials. I was able to find what I needed through Google Essentials, register my CostCo membership with Google Express, I got free shipping for exceeding the $ threshold (I think it was $35.00) and placed my order. Delivery was slated for less than a week and that worked fine. I was spared the mad crush on the weekends with the herd of weekend shoppers. What’s more, it included groceries and I didn’t have to pay for another special membership like elsewhere. So, I’m sold on CostCo shopping through Google Express.
What about other things? I’ll try to be brief since I’ve had multiple instances of searching both the store sites and GE. GE is not representing the full line of any retailers products. I’ve had a number of instances where a store site shows something in inventory, but GE doesn’t have that some product available.
There also seems to be some thing worked out to prevent too many retailers competing to sell too much of the same thing. And WalMart seems to have a major stake in this.
Although WalMart is closing more than 60 Sam’s Clubs, 10 of them are being converted to online fulfillment centers.
So let’s cap my overall thoughts:
If you have a store you frequent that is part of Google Express this can now be their online presence to ship you what you need.
Do NOT expect this to look as comprehensive, busy or full functioning as Amazon in any respect. This is a portal for shopping, not reading or watching videos or cloud services.
Do NOT expect that just because your favorite retailer is there, they carry all of that retailers products.
This is supposed to work with Google Home so that using voice commands you can order something. I have not tried this.
When adding things to your ‘Shopping List’ using Google Home, the ‘Shopping List’ is available on the Google Express home page. A convenience.
Although, the site has some groceries, the selection isn’t large. For instance, they only had one brand and size of eggs between all the retailers. I was unable to find normal cow’s milk. So I wouldn’t count on this to replace your local grocery convenience shopping service.
For me, I will be using Google Express again, just because I can order key items from CostCo.
In it’s current state, I don’t expect it to be an Amazon killer. With continuous evolution, perseverance, expanded product selection, and improved search functions it has the potential to be a real Amazon alternative.
Good luck to Google Express.