A new retail is emerging – it’s consumer driven and technology enabled (mobile). eBay is developing some services based on the blurring of the lines between online and offline search and purchases. Online experience used to be about selection and competitive value, while offline was local and more about service and immediate availability. But services like store pick up have merged the two experiences and consumers are taking advantage as shown by the 39% of eBay’s US customers who paid online and picked up in store.
eBay’s new service “eBay Now” takes the store pick up concept one step further: it utilizes private “valet’s” or courier services to pick up an ordered product from a store and deliver it to the buyer within 1 hour of purchase. The services aims to take advantage of local inventory available near the customer and utilize capacity in courier services. The service is available in limited areas such as San Francisco and Chicago and will soon be available in Dallas and London. eBay will also add scheduled delivery (delivery at a specific time) to the service soon.
Lessons learned by eBay in developing this service:
- Customers value choice and control
- Retailers have an appetite to partner for better technical capabilities and reach.
- Technology is not enough. Managing the end to end experience for buyers is critical.