Looks like eBay Now, eBay’s same-day delivery service, is ready to take on orders from the Web. The company had been taking orders for same-day delivery via its iOS and Android apps since August of last year, but it opened up an actual website today.
In so doing, it’s taking on Amazon, which also offers same-day delivery via its Local Express Service. But Amazon has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into building shipping and fulfillment centers around the country in order to deliver the goods, while eBay will be relying on local retailers to supply its same-day products. Both companies are chasing an estimated $2 trillion market: Products that you’d ordinarily buy at a local grocery store, drugstore, or other retail shop within a few miles of your home.
While we’ve seen a huge uptick in mobile shopping in the last few years, websites still provide prime real estate for retailers to display their products. Ebay Now promises to deliver anything listed on its apps, and now its website, within an hour, for only $5. That, plus the fact that it is available via a desktop website, might make it appealing to office workers.
The company thus far has only served the San Francisco and New York areas, though with this expansion, eBay Now is available to Brooklyn, Queens, and new cities around the Bay Area.
Dane Glasgow, eBay’s vice president of mobile and local, explained at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference that the company has relied a lot on the context that the mobile phone gives you about a customer. Ebay looks at a bunch of different elements such as the a person’s location and information about their device to come up with the best user experience. People seem to input this kind of information on the website, identifying where they are and what they’re looking for through search terms.
We’ve contact eBay for more on what the website means for Now and will update upon hearing back.
We’ll soon see whether the website drives more traffic to eBay Now and whether the team is scaled out enough to handle it. Until then, happy instant-gratification online shopping!
hat tip Engadget