* EBay tests eBay Now mobile app in San Francisco
* Delivery to take as little as an hour-spokeswoman
* App lets shoppers order products from hundreds of local
* EBay partnering with big retailers to tackle Amazon threat
* Target, Best Buy among retailers taking part in test
By Alistair Barr
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 6 EBay Inc is
testing a same-day delivery service with big retailers including
Target Corp, Best Buy Co and Toys "R" Us Inc
, as the world's largest online marketplace steps up
competition with rival Amazon.com Inc.
EBay introduced eBay Now, a mobile application, to some eBay
members in recent days. The app is being tested in San Francisco
and offers delivery in as little as an hour, eBay spokeswoman
Lina Shustarovich said on Monday.
The move is the latest sign of eBay working closely with
traditional retailers to help them tackle the threat of
Amazon.com, the world's largest online retailer, which has been
winning business from physical stores at a rapid clip.
The eBay Now test comes as Amazon builds more warehouses to
deliver goods quicker and more cheaply to online shoppers.
Amazon is building some of its newest warehouses closer to
major metropolitan centers such as New York, Los Angeles and San
Francisco's Bay Area. That has sparked speculation the company
is planning a big expansion of same-day delivery -- although
Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said recently a broad
roll-out would not be economical.
While Amazon is using its own warehouses to speed
deliveries, eBay is partnering with brick and mortar retailers
for its eBay Now test.
Several retailers have uploaded their stores' inventory onto
eBay's online marketplace through Milo, a local shopping
start-up that eBay acquired in late 2010. These retailers are
all part of the eBay Now same-day delivery test, through their
San Francisco-based stores.
In addition to Target, Best Buy and Toys "R" Us, other
retailers including Macy's Inc, Nordstrom Inc,
Walgreen Co, Crate & Barrel and Fry's Electronics are
taking part in the eBay Now test.
Shoppers involved in the test can download the app onto
mobile devices such as Apple's iPhone and iPad, then search for
products to buy from local stores in San Francisco.
When they find a product, users press a "Bring It" button
and the order is sent to couriers. The courier closest to the
product accepts the order, drives to the store to pick up the
product and then delivers it to the shopper's home.
Customers pay when the product arrives. They can pay using
PayPal Here, a new service developed by eBay's PayPal unit that
accepts credit and debit card payments through a small swipe
device attached to iPhones. Shoppers can also pay by logging
into their PayPal accounts through an iPhone. EBay Now couriers
have iPhones to accept payments.
EBay is offering $15 off the first order through eBay Now.
Delivery is free the first three times. After that, delivery is
$5 for the test period, and the minimum order is $25,