|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3184 - October 29, 2013 - ISSN 1539-5065 2 of 5|
eBay has begun promoting its new in-store pickup service in which shoppers can purchase an item directly on a seller's listing page and choose to pick it up at the seller's local store instead of having it shipped to them. Naturally not all sellers can offer such services since the majority don't have retail stores. In fact, eBay has launched the service with just two retailers: Toys R Us and Best Buy.
eBay officially announced the in-store pickup feature last week when it announced its new social networking features. In that press release, eBay stated:
"In-Store Pickup: In keeping with eBay's commitment to enable shoppers to choose how, where and when they receive purchases, customers can also now buy online at eBay.com and pick-up in local stores. This service is available today for Toys "R" Us and Best Buy, with more retailers coming soon."
Retailers can offer two types of in-store pickup services on eBay:
eBay sent out a marketing email on behalf of the two retailers to an unknown number of eBay buyers, with links to their listings that offer in-store pickup. Shoppers can also use a filter in eBay search to limit results to listings that offer in-store pickup.
Listings that offer the new service contain a line above the shipping line that says "Local pickup: FREE In-store pickup - Buy on eBay and pick up at your local (retailer name)" and contains a hyperlink to "Select a store." And such listings also contain a section in Shipping and Payments tab that allow shoppers to enter their zip code and select a store near them.
Upon entering their zip code in the form, eBay displays the retailer's local stores along with an indication of whether that particular store has the item in stock or not.
eBay explains that sellers notify eBay when the order is ready for pickup, and eBay then notifies the shopper via email or My Messages. Buyers can choose to receive their pickup notifications through text messaging.
While in-store pickup may seem cutting edge in ecommerce these days, Amazon.com offered such a service back in 2002 through a relationship with Borders bookstore chain. However, Borders had terminated its relationship with Amazon by 2007. Since 2011, Amazon has experimented with delivery lockers at retail stores such as Staples where shoppers could pickup their orders.
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Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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