Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu May 16 2013 12:11:07

Next-Day Delivery A Reality for Some Online Shoppers

By: Ina Steiner

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We've all heard complaints about delayed delivery of online purchases, but have you ever received a package earlier than you expected? An EcommerceBytes reader who is a buyer and occasional seller who lives in Illinois said he routinely receives his Amazon orders a day earlier than scheduled.

Most people think of same-day and next-day deliveries as being possible only in urban centers like New York and LA, but this reader does not live in Chicago. As a member of Amazon Prime, he gets free 2-day shipping on his orders, but because of his proximity to two Amazon distribution centers, he normally receives his orders next day - and sometimes even the same day.

Fast delivery is the holy grail for retailers and marketplaces, and every online seller wants cheap shipping costs to accompany fast delivery speed.

Every time Amazon builds a new warehouse, it gets closer to the customer. Nevertheless, its rival eBay said it doesn't think building warehouses is necessary. eBay is testing same-day delivery, but it must work differently since it doesn't own products and owns no warehouses. eBay executive Devin Wenig said in a recent conference keynote that the company is relying on innovation and organization - it will use retailers' stores and warehouses so it won't have to invest in warehouses.



Above: eBay Now same-day delivery in test markets coming soon to eBay.com.

What might concern eBay's sellers is that Wenig said the company will be making its delivery service (now available only through eBay's mobile app) available on the eBay.com marketplace so that shoppers on eBay will be able to order items from retail chain stores and have them delivered the same day. Clearly this excludes all but the largest retailers from participating.

eBay is currently testing its same-day delivery service in San Jose and New York, and will expand testing to Chicago, Dallas and beyond. Whether San Jose is a good testing ground for companies like eBay, PayPal and Google is debatable since the Silicon Valley culture is hardly representative of the general population.

Shop.org's Vicki Cantrell told EcommerceBytes recently that gifting would be a prime driver of same-day delivery services thanks to its immediacy and convenience and would be important during the holiday season.

While same-day delivery makes the headlines, Amazon has another program that eBay would be hard-pressed to offer - Subscribe and Save. Our Illinois reader said he is an avid user of the program that lets him set up automatic deliveries of frequently used household items. The items are already a deal on Amazon, he said, and the Subscribe and Save program makes them even cheaper. eBay hasn't addressed this competitive threat publicly.

If you've used any of these programs, let us know what you think of them. I'm particularly interested in learning how many people you receive deliveries on their online orders faster (or slower) than scheduled, and how that influences purchasing habits.




Comments (10) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu May 16 17:48:48 2013

Well, I have made several online purchases over the last few weeks. At least 3 of those purchases made on eBay arrived really FAST - in an Amazon box!!! A couple were 1-2 day delivery.


No matter where the online purchase is made - MOST arrive on or before the latest day in their estimate. Even my eBay purchases are mostly within the estimate. I say mostly because some sellers don't do the tracking upload thing so there is nothing to track. The item just shows up one day.


I'm addicted to drugstore.com for household cleansers, cosmetic & OTC health needs. It is so easy to keep a list of things we are running out until it comes to $25, then send off an order.

After $25 in sales, shipping cost is included in the price. Their prices are competitive with big name discount stores as long as you don't have to add shipping to the total cost - and there are constant sales & discounts. Oh Yeah, they take PayPal, too.


Their shipping is usually a reasonable 4-5 days. No complaints there.


BTW - they individually shrink wrap potentially messy liquid items like shampoo, cleansers, soaps - etc…. THAT is nice. I remember a particularly messy liquid soap episode from an eBay seller. My USPS lady met me at my door with a soaked dripping  package for both the original delivery AND its replacement. She said at least my purchases kept her USPS van smelling nice!

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This user has validated their user name. by: TFG

Thu May 16 19:47:46 2013

I sell online WAY more than I purchase online. Most of my domestic purchases are delivered on time or ahead of time. Just like most of my domestic shipments are delivered on time or ahead of time.
International shipping is a different story altogether. The majority of my international shipments are late as h3ll according to eBay's 'Estimated Delivery Dates'.
Also, the barcodes on my packages are never scanned after they reach US Customs in Miami, resulting in many scammers claiming INR and getting a full refund, even though I have proof of Post Office acceptance and proof the package reached US Customs.
I've been selling on eBay full time since 2004. Due to disabilities, I have very little options of employment. I wish there was another suitable website for me to sell used clothing on so I could get away from eBastard.

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by: JoyfulA This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 23:32:49 2013

I'm near Amazon warehouses, too, and often something ordered directly from Amazon arrives the next day. I haven't received any order the same day, though; I'll have to order early in the morning and see what happens.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Nan

Fri May 17 08:21:29 2013

I live in a rural mountain community, where shopping is a 100 mile round trip.  So yes, I definitely take advantage of Amazon's Prime free 2-day shipping, and Subscribe And Save.  Amazon often stocks items that I just can't get here (good coffee beans, seeds nuts and grains for my homemade granola, a particular brand of dog and cat foods), and things that are too big to carry up the hill in my little car (bulk household products).
They always get here in 2 days - weekends excluded.

I also live near a ULine shipping center so I can get my packing supplies in 2 days even though they ship ground.

Re eBay's new-shiny-thing, I have only one thing to say:  "Valet"?  Really?  They're going to dress some intern up in khakis, a blue polo suit and a primary-colors cap and send him out in traffic, aren't they.

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by: methuen-web-sales This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 17 12:14:39 2013

Ina, I've had it both ways.  Some sellers are just slow to put it in the mail, some are very quick.  As a seller, when someone pays, I want it ''outta here!'' so I pack and ship it right away.  One less thing on my selling shelf and it makes room for more stuff!   I don't care about 1-day/same day delivery on most things that I buy.  If I need it that fast, I go to the store.  Granted I live in an urban setting, but so far, except maybe for medicine, nothing I've ever bought has had to get to me super quick.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri May 17 14:48:51 2013

I live near a Costco distribution center and their ''free-shipping'' option often ends up being next-day delivery (if I order early enough in the day).

I'm glad that I've never selected the more expensive ''Next Day Shipping'' option... otherwise I might have received my order one day BEFORE I ordered it. (And that would be too confusing.)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri May 17 15:11:57 2013

Annie - shhhh. Don't go giving eBay any new ideas.


My coffee orders always say two day delivery, yet they always seem to arrive in one day, which would normally cost over $20.

Supplier must worry about tragic consequences of epic proportion if I don't get my morning coffee.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri May 17 16:02:39 2013

@Basset... HA! I know what you mean! My Hawaiian Blend K-cups were the most recent delivery from Costco. I only remember to order when I see there's about 3-days worth of coffee remaining... and it always arrives just in time! :-)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri May 17 20:02:59 2013

@ anonymous Annie

Being an obvious immediate gratification crybaby of the ME generation, I want what I order tomorrow to have arrived yesterday.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 19 09:31:20 2013

(eBay) "Clearly this excludes all but the largest retailers from participating."

Another perk for Platinum Sellers who as it is dont have to play by the rules.

eBay being the laziest people in ecommerce will piggyback off the Platinums and claim "the fastest delivery service ever" or some other nonsence (like they do with mobile commerce (900000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000
mobile sales)(each day).

That leaves the rest of us to fend off the rest of eBays steller buyers with thier non oaying, thier hit n run feedbacks, low hidden DSR scores and all the other wonderful things Wennig stole from Amazon, and Buy.com and Newegg.


gee thanks :



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