| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 19 EBay Inc is
retooling its local delivery program and extending more
logistics options to smaller merchants that make up the bulk of
the e-commerce giant's sprawling base of marketplace sellers, an
executive said on Wednesday.
More of eBay's smaller sellers, including some with annual
sales under $100,000, will allow shoppers to buy items online
that can be picked up in stores, an option now used by big
companies such as Best Buy Co Inc and Toys 'R' Us.
EBay also plans to dismantle its standalone mobile app for
its $5 same-day delivery service "eBay Now" as soon as this
week. The service will instead be folded into eBay's mobile app
"The big play in the U.S. has been around buy online,
pick-up in store," Tom Allason, head of eBay Local, said
The shift reflects how eBay and other technology companies,
including Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc, still struggle with the
high cost of same-day delivery. Only a fraction of a small
retailer's sales come from customers who also opt for same-day
delivery, making it difficult to make a profit.
"That's a part of why delivery is only one piece of the
equation," Allason said in an interview.
Earlier, the e-commerce giant intensified efforts to court
retailers as it prepares to split its marketplaces division next
year from PayPal, the payments unit that has been the
fastest-growing part of its business.
EBay had planned to expand same-day delivery to 25 markets
by the end of 2014, but it is only available in New York, San
Francisco, the broader Bay Area, Dallas and Chicago.
Last year, EBay bought Allason's U.K.-based same-day
delivery startup, Shutl, a marketplace connecting eBay sellers
with local courier companies who are available to deliver
packages. EBay initially used "valets" to deliver packages, but
switched over to the Shutl platform in the United States this
spring. Allason said the delivery costs have dropped but
declined to say by how much.
EBay is exploring other delivery options for the United
States, Germany and other markets, including the
"click-and-collect" model used by Shutl in the United Kingdom,
in which shoppers pick up certain eBay purchases from British
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Ken Wills)