eBay introduced a new interface that lets you order products with same-day delivery. Called eBay Now, this new interface (which comes in the form of an iOS app), is currently in its exclusive beta, open only for San Francisco residents. San Francisco residents can pay a delivery fee of $5 on products from local stores to get a product delivered the same day. The deliveries are then sent within one hour. At present, you must be a San Francisco resident to apply for the beta. If admitted, you will receive an introduction email with a link to the app. Users can sign up for the eBay Now beta here.
eBay is taking convenience tech seriously. Previously, we saw how apps like TaskRabbit and Uber (two tech startups on the rise) have gained popularity with users. They simply target instant gratification and fulfill it through convenience tech. Now eBay is trying to bring similar convenience to its users by letting them order for same-day delivery.
eBay Now users can order same-day delivery for orders of $25 ore more. However, beta testers are getting the special discount with free shipping on their first three purchases and a $15 credit for fist time purchases.
Users will have to order their products half an hour before the store closes to qualify for same-day delivery. eBay users can order their favorite products from local stores from Monday to Saturday. Orders are only taken between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
eBay Now has a simple interface. All you have to do is to pick your favorite product from the eBay store and select same-day delivery. Featured stores include Macy’s, Toys R Us, Target, Nordstorm, and Best Buy. eBay will find a store near you to deliver the product at the earliest.
eBay has joined an exclusive club of same-day deliverers by launching eBay Now. Amazon, Postmates, and Instacart are already offering same-day delivery, and they are doing it well. Amazon is expected to improve on its same-day delivery service while other players in the club are focusing on reducing cost to make service more feasible. With eBay launching its service with a low delivery rate compared to Amazon, chances are that it will get healthy feedback from users.
eBay Now is awesome, but it’s bad news for impulse buyers. With same-day delivery, people can buy high-end things and get them instantly. They will not have much time to re-think and cancel their order. So if you’re a shopaholic, you ought to bounce your buy idea off of someone before ordering from eBay Now.
If you are in a big city, regular ecommerce solutions will rarely attract you. You don’t have to wait for days to get your favorite products since you can just walk over to the next street and buy whatever you need. But with instant delivery, are things different?
Given the high overhead of physical stores, will these physical stores eventually become obsolete in the face of online retailers offering instant gratification through same-day delivery? I suppose this may not be a real concern for stores in major cities where shopping is convenient, however, what about in suburban areas, where shopping requires serious effort (i.e. getting into a car and going for a drive)?
What do you think? Will we be saying goodbye to shopping malls?