December 4, 2012—Similar to Amazon lockers, a Canadian startup company has started offering delivery kiosks for package pickups. In news that was first reported by TechCrunch, the king of search engines Google–has purchased the startup company Bufferbox for an undisclosed price of $17 million. BufferBox offers customers a secure pickup station for package deliveries, where customers will receive a PIN via email that is used to unlock the kiosk and receive your package.
Just like Amazon and Walmart, Google wants to be able to provide a convenient delivery destination for their online shoppers. Google’s latest purchase seems to suggest their strong interest in ecommerce beyond only search advertising and paid product listing ads. According to comScore rankings, Google approximately controls two-thirds of the U.S. search market with essentially no real competition to compete against.
The connection of Google to BufferBox is quite remarkable. The startup began testing their service in neighborhoods near the University of Waterloo and eventually made their way to the Greater Toronto area. Surprisingly enough, BufferBox made an impression on their upstairs neighbors who, believe it or not, happened to be an office of Google’s operations.
Not only does Google’s purchase of BufferBox showcase their distinct interest in entering the competitive world of retail, but this move suggests their innovative thinking towards this particular market.
What do you think of delivery kiosks for package pickups? Would you use the service?