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article imageNew same-day delivery service released by eBay

By Jenna Cyprus     Oct 30, 2013 in Internet
Just when you thought online shopping offers it all, a new service is bound to provide the best form of customer satisfaction: same-day delivery.
Personalization isn't a new trend when it comes to engraved home goods, office supplies, and even technology. However, personalization is about to go from pencils and watches to a new level of service from one of the biggest players in the e-commerce industry.
In response to Amazon's local delivery service, eBay announced on October 22nd that it will now be offering same-day delivery in 25 markets around the United States, including Chicago, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the San Francisco Peninsula. The service, which is called “eBay Now”, will become available in Dallas and London in 2014.
In addition to this announcement, eBay also stated it has acquired Shutl, a delivery service based in the United Kingdom which promises the same services as eBay Now.
According to the eBay Now website, local products in select markets are hand-delivered "to your door" in about an hour. eBay is charging only $5 per order for this service. Ordering is available via a computer, tablet, or smartphone (there is a free eBay Now app for iOS and Android). You can check out using PayPal or your credit card.
Also, in the future, eBay is hoping to make scheduled deliveries a possibility, so customers can be sure to get a delivery that works best around their daily schedule.
Featured partners
One of the most interesting aspects of the announcement is the fact that eBay is partnering with name brands to offer this service. Brands that have come on board include Office Depot, Target, Bloomingdale's, The Home Depot, Walgreens, GNC, Macy's, and Best Buy.
The orders are delivered by eBay Now valets that personally go to the store, get your order, and deliver it to you within the hour estimate. eBay requires that customers spend a minimum of $25, which doesn't include the $5 fee. eBay Now valets have some restrictions on the types of items they can deliver, including tobacco, alcohol, prescriptions, and large appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators.
Stiff competition
eBay Now faces some tough competition from Amazon and Google, both of which are developing and expanding their local delivery service.
Amazon Fresh delivers fresh groceries in some areas in California and Seattle, while Google is testing same-day delivery service of products in the San Francisco Bay area. GeekWire also reported that Wal-Mart has been considering using its own consumer base to deliver items to other online buyers in large markets as well.
No matter who your competitors are, the same-day local delivery service market can get expensive very quickly. Drivers, trucks, product, and technology are all needed to make sure orders go through and are delivered within the promised time frame. These expenses are usually not necessary when it comes to running an e-commerce service with a central shipping warehouse.
No matter what an online company is selling (whether it's fresh produce or a new iPod from Best Buy), the fact remains that local delivery (with the goal of ASAP or same-day service) seems like it would be a great idea from the outset, but the major players in the field like eBay and Amazon are still evaluating whether or not it's a viable option from an investment standpoint.
While the demand for same-day local delivery hasn't been particularly high among consumers, that doesn't mean the idea couldn't take off, should it achieve the right price point and process.
With the launch of eBay Now this week, and major brands jumping on board to make it possible, the local delivery market will soon be able to see whether or not this could be e-commerce's next big thing.
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