Some people still refer to eBay as an online auction site, but it's clear the company has grown way past its original model over the years. The company's most recent announcements — including a revamped website experience that has a social media feel to it and the expansion of its same-day delivery capabilities — attest to that.
On the delivery front, eBay announced that it now offers same-day delivery in Chicago and plans to roll out the service in Dallas in the coming weeks. The company has been offering same-day delivery in New York and San Francisco as part of its eBay Now service for about a year. By the end of 2014, eBay expects to offer same-day service in 25 cities in the U.S. and beyond.
The company will get a boost in expanding same-day delivery after announcing an agreement to acquire Shutl, a company that uses a network of local couriers to deliver online purchases.
As a marketplace, eBay is looking to offer services that will help sellers compete more effectively in the marketplace. Many of those sellers operate brick and mortar stores.
"Today, approximately 75 percent of what people buy is local, found within 15 miles from their home," said Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces. "Traditional retail isn't going away. But it is transforming and that creates enormous opportunity within the $10 trillion total commerce market."
In the merger between the brick and click worlds, eBay said it will soon add major partners that offer online ordering and in-store pickup. Best Buy and Toys "R" Us currently offer this option through eBay.
Scheduled deliveries are also in the works for eBay Now. The company said that it will soon release delivery schedules that enable customers to order the products and choose the time and place for delivery.
How important will same-day delivery become for online retailers over the next decade?