In an effort to overthrow Amazon’s reign as the leader in ebooks and book delivery, Google and Barnes & Noble have teamed up to reach out to more customers in the United States by leveraging existing services from both companies.
If you are living in areas near a Barnes & Noble store, you will be able to receive book delivery on the same day that you ordered it through Google Shopping Express, an online shopping service that the search giant is still trying to get off the ground.
Google will operate differently from how Amazon sells books online and through delivery. Google Shopping Express has a fleet of couriers that will work to pick items from various stores and deliver them in just a matter of hours to customers. Google Shopping Express users will avail of free delivery, while non-subscribers will have to pay $4.99 for every delivery.
Barnes & Noble expects to accumulate growing sales from Google Shopping Express’s customers.
Participating Barnes & Noble stores include the Marina del Rey store near Los Angeles and a Stevens Creek Boulevard store in San Jose. Barnes & Noble claims it has a total of 22,000 to 163,000 titles.
The alliance is a win-win agreement between Google and Barnes & Noble. For one, this is an opportune time for Barnes & Noble to venture into the business of online selling from its traditional business model, something that has been long endangered in an age of Internet boom. In fact, the company has shut down more than 60 retail stores in the past five years or so and has seen a 22 percent drop in the sales of its Nook business during the fourth quarter. The partnership will grow Barnes & Noble’s presence online, thereby connecting its physical business with the digital world.
Part of what contributed to the declining market performance of Barnes & Noble is Amazon’s domination in the industry. Barnes & Noble has been seeing low count of visitors to its stores because most people would just prefer to buy books online and have it delivered in a short while.
For Google, that will mean an inroad for the company into the books business – both electronic and print – something that Amazon has long dominated. At any rate, the companies will be in a testing phase with the partnership so as to look for the most viable way to get the business going and long-lasting for the years to come.