eBay to expand same-day delivery to 25 cities in 2014
The online auctions and payments giant also introduces two new ways for shoppers to find the best items in its huge inventory, eBay Collections and eBay Today.
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Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
NEW YORK -- eBay on Tuesday said it plans to expand its same-day delivery service, dubbed eBay Now, to 25 cities next year, and it also launched a couple new features for its site that makes browsing more personalized.
The company said eBay Now is live in Chicago today, and Dallas will follow within the following weeks. Next year, cities such as London will receive the service, bringing the total to 25. eBay already has offered same-day delivery in San Francisco and New York for about a year.
eBay President Devin Wenig also said the company is buying a London-based delivery platform company called Shutl to help it "to scale quickly and cost effectively around the country and around the world." Shutl serves as a marketplace for couriers, and it partnered with eBay on its Chicago eBay Now launch.
"What you saw today is how we're bringing together online and offline ... how we're bringing together need and love," Wenig said. "Each of them is powerful. Together they're the future of shopping."
In addition, eBay soon will allow eBay Now customers to schedule delivery, likely starting later this year. For example, someone could shop while at work and schedule a delivery for 6:30 p.m. that same day.
eBay also is bringing local deliveries to the core eBay site, instead of only offering it through a separate site and app. That means shoppers can buy something through its main marketplace and either pick it up at the store that same day or have the item delivered. Toys R Us and Best Buy are the first two retailers to participate in that option.
Scheduling deliveries "was a big requirement we hear loud and clear," Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges told CNET. "Local shopping is a very unique thing eBay is well positioned to do."
The online auction and payments giant announced the news during an event Tuesday at the Industria Superstudio in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood.
eBay first launched eBay Now a year ago in San Francisco and then expanded it to New York. With the service, shoppers can order items from a variety of retailers -- Best Buy, Finish Line, GNC, Home Depot, Macy's, Office Depot, RadioShack, Target, Toys R Us, and Walgreens -- and get them delivered to their door. They're able to pay using PayPal or credit card upon delivery.
The news comes a year after eBay unveiled its new site design. The company has been making a push to make its site more visual, as well as expand its mobile and marketplace search capabilities. Its PayPal payments unit also has been a big focus. However eBay faces heightened competition from companies such as Amazon and Square.
Wenig on Tuesday also launched eBay Collections, a place to group items from the company's huge inventory. The feature launches immediately with 200 expert curators. Wenig noted the company opened the feature up to shoppers in recent days, and users created 56,000 collections in three days.
eBay also announced eBay Today, a digital shoppable magazine, on its home page.
"It's constantly changing," Wenig said. "It will bring the best of what's on eBay, the best collections."
Updated at 8:50 a.m. PT with additional details and comments from CTO.