Farewell Google Express, We Never Really Knew Why You Existed, Anyway

Google Express was the shopping website/portal that never really knew what it wanted to be when it grew up. Not to be confused with the “Shopping” tab when you Google an item, this was a separate service. You could search for an item and it would show you which one, of several online stores you’d never heard of before, carried it and what price you’d pay.

It always felt as if this was the idea of a VP at Google who said: “We need to compete with Amazon.com for online shopping, but we sell no merchandise.” The reason the service existed seemed unclear. Why would you need to buy items to get shipped through Google’s shopping portal? Google already provides you information about where you can buy an item with their main service and that search isn’t limited to the stores who are signed up for the Google Express platform. So why bother?

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And now they’ll never get a chance to figure it out:

Thank you for being a Google Express customer. As we strive to enhance your shopping experience, we’ll be integrating Express into the new Google Shopping over the next few weeks.

With Google Shopping, you get the features you know from Google Express – plus even more ways to find the best places and prices to buy, from across the web or locally.

So Google Express is going away. Honestly, I forgot that it existed.

If you’re like me, the only reason you ever signed up for an account was that they used to put out some sweet AMEX Offers. From the end of 2017 to mid-2018, there seemed to be an active offer every month or two. The offers were really good too, such as:

  • Spend $60 or more, get $20 back
  • Spend $50, Get $20 back

Google Express also was offering $10 off your first order coupons to new members, who was just about everyone, which stacked on top of the AMEX offer.

These offers were available back when you could find ways to activate AMEX Offers on multiple cards, so it was possible to save 33% numerous times for a single round of offers.

Then around June 2018, the AMEX Offers for Google Express stopped showing up. There was a lone Chase Offer at the end of 2018, but that’s been it since then.

Many of the initial launch partners of Google Express, like Walmart and Walgreens have totally left the platform, leaving the service with Target, Best Buy, Overstock and Costco as the marquee names (and you still need to have a Costco membership when making purchases through Google Express) along with a bunch of second, third and fourth-tier online stores, most of which you’ve never heard of.

And now you wonder why the service is going away.

The new Google Shopping site sounds like a lot more like the Shopping tab on the Google search results page. You can see where to buy items, online and locally, set up in-store pickup or delivery and have a set of merchants where you can order direct through Google to get some additional purchase protection.

This is the only thing I don’t like:

Ability to get deals and product recommendations just for you, inspired by your Google activity.

Fantastic! (insert sarcasm here)

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

One thought on “Farewell Google Express, We Never Really Knew Why You Existed, Anyway”

  1. I find it very useful for ordering from Costco – hard to beat free delivery on a whole bunch of household products and beverages in bulk. Hopefully that ability sticks around but I’m thinking it won’t.

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