Google never said Shopping Express would remain free forever; only while the same-day delivery service was in “beta” would the search giant guarantee gratis shipping. Now, Google has announced tiered pricing alongside a long-anticipated expansion of Shopping Express to more cities and retailers.
Shopping Express memberships now start at $10 per month, $95 per year, or $4.99 per eligible order. That is comparable to competing service Amazon Prime ($8.25 per month or $99 per year), but concededly without the perks, like video and music streaming, that accompany Amazon’s offering. That said, Google has never positioned Shopping Express as the gateway to an ecosystem, relying instead on the convenience of same-day shipping to attract customers. It remains to be seen whether or not that strategy will prove successful.
Shopping Express has also expanded to Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C., encroaching on Amazon’s same-day delivery regions.
The aforementioned new merchants include 1-800-Flowers, Barnes & Noble, Nine West, PetSmart, Vitamin Shoppe, and Sports Authority, among others. In addition, Shopping Express now handles alcohol deliveries in the Bay Area for customers over 21 years of age.
If you live in an eligible city, the first three months of Shopping Express are free.
So assuming Shopping Express continues to grow, would you be willing to pay extra for it?