Google's Rumored Target and Walmart Alliance Could Scare the Prime Out of Amazon
According to TechCrunch, the new service (which is being referred to as "Google Shopping Express") will retail at $64 or $69 a year, making it considerably cheaper than Amazon Prime, which sells for $79.99 a year. It will also provide subscribers with expedited delivery options from Target (NYSE: TGT), Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) and Safeway (NYSE: SWY).
There will likely be an additional charge for those who choose same-day delivery, but consumers may not care during the busy holiday shopping season. When Little Timmy's stocking is unstuffed and Santa is scheduled to arrive in 48 hours, parents may be willing to pay whatever Google charges.
It is not yet clear what other perks, if any, Google may offer with the service.
Amazon has used its growing video collection to lure potential customers to Prime, knowing that subscribers will not simply watch the old TV shows and dated movies -- they will also shop more frequently.
The retailer has also used the Kindle Owners' Lending Library to lure subscribers.
Google could compete with Amazon by offering a few freebies or extras of its own, such as paid YouTube content. While YouTube videos are currently free, the company is expected to offer a paid subscription service this spring. It is not yet clear what the subscription will include, but rumors suggest that Google aims to offer original programming that is similar to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX).
The search engine giant may also offer discounts on its Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) clone, Google Offers.
It is not yet known when Google will launch the Express Shopping service, but it isn't likely to happen just yet. Expect the company to save its unveiling for the prime shopping season, November 2013.
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