|How cute is the Google Express delivery bag?!|
Normally, if I said that I picked up diapers at Babies R Us and the new Tarte eyeliner from ULTA it would be a given that I had packed my five-month-old into the car and made stops at two different stores. Traffic being what it is in Chicago and factoring in the amount of time it would take me to get my kid in and out of the car and into his stroller, this would probably be a two hour trip. Two hours for two items is crazy, which is why I am thankful that so many services exist that will quickly deliver direct to my house.
The latest shopping and delivery service to hit Chicago is Google Express, which offers same or next day delivery from an assortment of stores.
The stores that are currently available are a bit limited, but since the service just launched in this area I can only imagine they will be adding more shortly. In other regions where Google Express is more established, such as San Francisco and New York City, they offer deliveries from Target and Whole Foods, both of which I think would be great options in Chicago. Target, in particular, would be fantastic. As much as I love Target, I seem to spend an extra $100 whenever I go in there to pick up a $5 item, so having specific Target-brand products delivered to my house without having to set foot in a store would really cut down on my impulse purchases!
Placing an order through Google Express was easy enough, although the format seems more suited for if you know exactly what you want to purchase.
For instance, if I go to the ULTA page on the Google Express website, this is what you will find. This would be great if I needed a refill on my favorite brand of shampoo, but part of the fun for me when it comes to cosmetics stores is browsing what is new, and Google Express does not give you the option of browsing in this manner.
Once you have decided on your order and are ready to check out, you will come to a screen with a few delivery options.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that they give you the option of signing for your package or leaving it at the door. I work from home so I am almost always home, but back when I was commuting to a job out in the suburbs there were few things that annoyed me more than packages that needed to be signed for upon delivery. Since I was never home, it always meant waiting another day for my package or having it rerouted somewhere else (and still waiting another day). With this option, you could theoretically place an order from your office and have it waiting at your door when you returned home from work. Awesome!
As for the delivery times, they are a little looser than I had anticipated. With so many competing services in the area, I expected smaller delivery windows, especially on the same-day options. I rarely ever have a shopping emergency that I can’t take care of myself though, so this isn’t a deal-breaker.
Once you have placed your order through Google Express, you can log into your account to see the status at any time, but Google will also email you updates.
My order was scheduled to be delivered anytime between 1-5 p.m. and it arrived at my door at 4:58 p.m. I ordered from both ULTA and Babies R Us and both items were delivered together. I got an email from Google as soon as it arrived, and just like that we were good to go on diapers and eyeliner. (It was a necessities for the baby and a treat for mom kind of day.)
Now, you’re probably wondering how much does Google Express cost? This is a good question because there are a couple of different cost options.
If you plan on using Google Express on a frequent basis then you can pay to become a member. A Google Express membership costs $95 per year, which will get you free delivery in your area as long as your minimum order is $15 per store. If you spend less than $15 then you will pay an additional $3 per order. If you choose not to become a Google Express member then delivery costs $4.95 per store.
Through September 30, 2015 you can try out a three-month subscription to Google Express for free. Please note, however, that your subscription will automatically renew and you will be charged $95 unless you cancel before the trial period is over. Additionally, use code “EXPRESSCHICAGO” to get $25 off your first purchase*.
Overall, I think the bones are in place to make Google Express a great service. I do think the membership fee is a little high considering the limited number of stores they are servicing, so I do hope they continue to add more stores. As I mentioned above, Target and Whole Foods would be fantastic. I’d love to see them partner with a store like Binny’s because I could definitely get behind having my weekend wine order delivered straight to my door! Or… what about Nordstrom?! I would have loved to have had my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale order arrive at my house on the same day I placed the order! There are so many ways that Google Express can expand their delivery options in Chicago and I can’t wait to see how they expand over the coming months.
I write about shopping for a living and I love shopping, but I can’t help but be excited about services such as this that make it that much easier to receive the products we want delivered straight to our doorstep in a timely fashion. The days of waiting a week or more to receive items in the mail seem to be waning thanks to services like Google Express!
*Applies only to first purchase and not to delivery fees or in-app purchases. Valid up to the first 2500 redemptions, while delivery slots last and until 8/7/15. For complete terms and conditions visit g.co/shopexpressterms
Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card for the purposes of reviewing Google Express, but all thoughts expressed above are my own.
Lisa Koivu is the founder of ShopGirlDaily.com, a budget fashion and shopping blog for women who want to have the best for less.