eBay Testing Same-Day Delivery from Local Retailers
By Ina Steiner
An eBay spokesperson confirmed the company is testing same-day delivery through a new mobile app, another step as it continues to try to "take the e out of ecommerce." eBay Now is an invitation-only beta test for shoppers located in San Francisco that launched on Sunday (August 5). But eBay Now's same-day delivery service is restricted to brick-and-mortar purchases.
According to eBay Local spokesperson Lina Shustarovich, "Users order products from local stores for same-day delivery, which usually occurs within the hour. eBay Now shopping valets pick up the item from a local store and bring it to the shopper who ordered."
While eBay has been crowing about the explosion of mobile shopping on its site, it has also been investing in local, as has its rival Google, and local and mobile are often complementary for today's shoppers. In late 2010, eBay acquired Milo, which provides real-time inventory and pricing information from 50,000 offline retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and other large retail chains.
Since then, eBay has been integrating listings from brick-and-mortar retail chains into its marketplace, and it ramps up promotion of local listings during the holidays when shoppers are looking for speedy delivery times for gift-giving.
In a blog post on Sunday, EcommerceBytes wrote about the impact of such initiatives on online-only sellers. Shustarovich said eBay Local would use the pilot period to evaluate opportunities that include sellers large and small.
"We continue to make local shopping easier and more convenient than ever," Shustarovich wrote. "The eBay Now mobile app lets shoppers order a product from a local store and experience the convenience of same-day delivery, from phone to door in as little as an hour. On August 5, we launched an invitation-only pilot in San Francisco. From our pilot, we'll gauge user interest, inform product enhancements, and evaluate the future of this innovative local shopping experience."
eBay CEO John Donahoe frequently states that retail is at an inflection point where offline and online are blurring. During a presentation to analysts last month, he said, "Retail is at an inflection point, and we are helping to reshape how people around the world shop and pay."
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About the author:
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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