When its’ time to pull away a business venture that isn’t profiting, you have to make the necessary adjustments sooner than later. It appears eBay has found that its’ same-day delivery pursuit in the US needs to be shut down. Yet, will eBay turn to same-day delivery again?
A recent report talked about how eBay decided to throw in the towel after a three-year push. EBay Now fought against strong competitors like Amazon and Google that are in the same race. Former eBay CEO, John Donahoe, said the service is “not essential to our core target customer”. CNet.com reported how eBay shut down the eBay Now app late last year. EBay also has pulled three less popular apps — eBay Motors, eBay Fashion and eBay Valet — to cut down customer confusion and streamline attention to it’s primary eBay app.
CNet also highlighted an eBay spokeswoman regarding the scale back and ending of eBay Now. “We continue to explore a variety of delivery options such as buy-online-pickup-in-store,” an eBay spokeswoman said. This isn’t anything new, in fact, a number of companies are opting to go the route of in-store pick-up. Wal-Mart is one physical store retailer that not only offers same-day delivery, but also Wal-MartToGo. The service offers customers the option of placing their order online, and then coming to the store to pick-up. A Wal-Mart representative pulls the order and its’ ready upon arrival. In Denver, Wal-MartToGo was tested for pick-up via curbside as well.
One reason eBay Now ended because the their products didn’t match in volume the types of products that same-day delivery thrives on. Shoppers utilize same-day delivery with groceries, diapers, and food orders, in contrast to eBay’s primary staples, such as collectibles, antiques and vintage clothing. Also, eBay stated that these same-day delivery networks tended to exclude eBay’s core smaller merchants, since many don’t have storefronts or warehouses. Fast delivery needs volume to be successful long-term. The result is a market that doesn’t fit eBay or its’ smaller merchants.
Web-based retailers like Google and Amazon have found a way to brand itself as companies that provide the everyday products shoppers want. Google Express in major US cities and is expanding. It has partnered with large brick-and-mortar retailers like Toys-R-Us, Target, BestBuy, Wal-Green’s,and more to get items in the physical stores right to a customer’s front door. A same-day courier like 1-800Courier is who retailers have also decided to outsource the delivery aspect of the service. The New York Courier has the delivery expertise to create optimal and efficient solutions.
Another hurdle for eBay will be Amazon if it decides to jump back into the same-day delivery race. Amazon has launched the free service in several major US cities, including Baltimore, Dallas-Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle-Tacoma, Tampa Bay, Washington DC, Boston, New York, Atlanta, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. The roll out involves more than 500 cities and towns, plus more cities in the coming years. This means eBay will have even more ground to cover if it enters back into same-day delivery with eBay Now. EBay will have to step back and reevaluate whether it can achieve convenience for its’ customers with new products, yet in a different way.
Reference: 7.27.15, www.cnet.com, Ben Fox Rubin, eBay Now rapid delivery service shut down