The race for same-day delivery became intense this year, as Google, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Macy’s led the way with a number of moves to position themselves to master the service. On the other hand, EBay recently decided to rethink its’ service, pulling eBay Now as a standalone app and integrating it into its’ main website. It appears eBay was hanging up the gloves with same-day delivery, but think again.
EBay announced that it will be expanding its’ eBay Local pilot program in Brooklyn with an additional 80 small businesses that will offer scheduled and same-day delivery. It also will provide in-store pickup to area customers. It’s now clear that eBay Now is still functioning under eBay Local. The e-retailer had released plans to expand eBay Now into 25 different markets, partnering with UK-based delivery start-up Shutl to get it done. However, per an eBay spokersperson, the company is “moving to core” and the new eBay Local expansion could be signs of starting from the ground floor again to find what is sustainable long-term.
Tech Crunch discussed in the article how eBay Local is essentially the re-branding of eBay Now, yet it offers pickup options for shoppers as well. EBay Local is being offered in limited US markets, including Brooklyn, Queens, San Francisco and parts of the Peninsula, San Jose, Chicago, and Dallas. It also has local programs in Germany, UK and Australia. There is a shift with eBay focusing in on smaller sellers who have customers that prefer online store pick up. This is what Shutl’s “click and collect” delivery model is based from. Shutl also uses a same-day courier like 1-800 Courier to perform the deliveries for them.
In a post regarding the new Brooklyn expansion, senior director of eBay’s Local initiatives Tom Allason, mentions briefly about offering the options customers want. “We find that our customers like having choice, based on when they need the item and how much they want to pay to get it”, stated Allason. Even if eBay expanded into the 25 markets it had planned, it could not succeed without the order volume, which is one of the key components for same-day delivery to work.
Online store pick up is a viable direction to go in, as mobile commerce continues growth. Recent numbers from Black Friday and Cyber Monday show that shoppers are becoming more comfortable shopping on-the-go. It was found that 37% of e-retail transactions from Black Friday through Cyber Monday were made from a smartphone or tablet. It means that it would be quite easy for a customer to buy online and make a store pick up, opposed to having to wait in line. It is a service that makes sense, and it could be why eBay is showing a more extensive interest in offering it.
Costs will always be the bottom line for same-day delivery. EBay Now was being offered for a $5 fee. Macy’s, newcomer to the same-day delivery bout, is currently charging only $5 for all orders over $99. Wal-Mart, Google and Amazon have comparable pricing also. Since a number of retailers need a delivery partner, 1-800 Courier is a New York courier that has courier logistics expertise and can create a same-day solution that is cost-effective.
Reference: 12.16.14, www.techcrunch.com, Sarah Perez, Ebay Expands Local Pilot Program Offering Same-Day Delivery, In-store Pickup In Brooklyn