2011/12/02

Google mulling online retail move: report

SAN FRANCISCO, December  2, 2011 (AFP) - Internet powerhouse Google is in talks with major retailers about an online shopping service that would deliver purchases to buyers within 24 hours, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Such a service would be a direct challenge to e-commerce king Amazon.com, which promises one- to two-day delivery on purchases by people who pay $79 annually to be members of a Prime program that comes with added perks.

Google has reportedly reached out to major US retail businesses, including Macy's, OfficeMax and Gap Inc.

"They've approached us with the idea, but we haven't made any decisions," a Macy's spokesman told the Journal.

Amazon has been gaining ground in the online advertising market as shoppers use the online retailer's website for searches instead of Google or other services. Online ads are Google's main source of revenue.

Amazon's influence is growing with the allure of online videos and other content for Prime members.

Google, on the other hand, has been weighing into the online retail market with features such as coupons for deals at local businesses and Android smartphones that can double as electronic wallets to pay in stores.