While not coming as a huge shock, eBay announced it is shutting down its eBay Now same-day delivery service in several markets, and also ending another pilot that provided same-day delivery from 80-plus local merchants in Brooklyn, NY, after finding its core offerings weren’t a fit for the “I need it now” economy.
The decision comes as eBay is moving ahead as a standalone entity after last week’s spinoff of the fast-growing PayPal division, and slowing down as it battles against major ecommerce rivals Amazon and Google. PayPal accounted for more than half of the $4.4 billion in second quarter revenue eBay reported two weeks ago, less than the $4.5 billion analysts had been expecting.
eBay Now, which was started three years ago, had been operating in New York, Chicago, Dallas and in many sections of the San Francisco Bay area. After acquiring UK-based Shutl in 2013, eBay Now was supposed to expand to 25 urban markets by the end of 2014, but the growth never materialized.
In one signal that the service wouldn’t last, eBay last fall folded the standalone eBay Now app into its core app. The company said it plans to continue to pilot scheduled delivery in the UK. It will also explore “delivery and pick-up/drop-off programs that are relevant to many more of our 25 million sellers, and that cover a wider variety of inventory that consumers tell us they want,” said R.J. PIttman, eBay’s Chief Product Officer in a blog post.
eBay also said it was ditching three other mobile apps – eBay Motors, eBay Fashion and eBay Valet – to focus on driving traffic to its primary apps and avoiding customer confusion. The key functionality of each is being folded into the core eBay apps.
“While we saw encouraging results with the eBay Now service, we always intended it as a pilot,” said eBay spokesperson Kari Ramirez. “(eBay Now and the Brooklyn service) will be wrapping up by the end of the month.”
Ramirez said eBay used both programs to test and evaluate local capabilities. “We are now exploring delivery and pickup options that will be relevant to our 25 million sellers,” she said.
She also said eBay found that the types of things that people buy on its site “aren’t necessarily those that are in high demand for same-day deliver. “Also, same-day options for the most part exclude core eBay sellers who don’t have offline locations,” Ramirez said.
“We want to enable the most relevant solutions for our customers, and offer those that are most in line with local shopping and delivery preferences around the world,” she said. “That’s why we continue to explore a variety of delivery options such as buy online pickup in store and click and collect that best connect customers at scale.”