eBay Pins Growth to Curation, Same-Day Delivery

eBay is ready for a makeover. The pioneering stalwart of ecommerce revealed a more complete look yesterday, with a strategy and vision defined by new levels of personalization and yet another step toward instant gratification.

Taking a play out of Pinterest’s playbook, eBay is introducing an image-driven social platform called eBay Today, where collections of items curated by a group of more than 200 notable personalities will appear on the site’s Marketplace homepage. With the aid of the e-commerce platform’s new chief curator and editorial director Michael Phillips Moskowitz, users will be able to view some of the site’s most interesting items and learn the stories behind them. They will also be able to find and follow items pinned by curators like Pharrell Williams, Solange Knowles and Kelly Oxford.

eBay Marketplace is also being redesigned and will now feature groups of products, or collections, selected by top buyers and sellers aiming to inspire users. Meanwhile, eBay has gathered curators from various industries to also create special collections that can be followed by users for a more long-term source of shopping inspiration.

“There are few destinations like this. The new eBay offers an intuitive browsing experience, selected from one of the world’s largest shopping inventories, that is instantly shoppable and backed by one of the most recognized names in commerce,” says Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces.

Pharrell Williams, arguably the most recognizable and popular of eBay’s new curators, says eBay is a “place to discover things you love and things you never knew you needed. Now, anyone can create their own collection on eBay and fill it with all their dream items.”

The company also says its same-day delivery service, eBay Now, will expand to 25 markets by the end of 2014. To power most of that local-delivery growth, eBay acquired Shutl, a London-based startup with operations in more than 50 towns in the UK.

Since it launched eBay Now about a year ago, the local commerce and delivery operations technology has become a key piece of eBay’s play for a larger role in local markets. “Today, approximately 75 percent of what people buy is local, found within 15 miles from their home,” says Wenig.

“Traditional retail isn’t going away. But it is transforming, and that creates enormous opportunity within the $10 trillion total commerce market,” he adds.

The rapid delivery service is now live in Chicago, on track for a launch in Dallas later this year and is scheduled to hit a few international markets, including London, in early 2014. In-store pickup services are available at Toys ‘R’ Us and Best Buy, with more retailers expected to join soon, and users will soon be able to request scheduled delivery times to make sure they don’t miss a purchase.

“eBay is a technology company; we understand that retailers, brands and sellers of all sizes need a new set of solutions to deliver the kinds of experiences consumers expect in today’s environment,” says Wenig. “We’re making fundamental changes to our business that put us in a position to be the right partner for merchants and the best place for people to shop – anytime, anywhere and on any device.”

eBay currently has more than 124 million users on a platform with more than 500 million items for purchase, according to the company.

“The world is changing, with the lines between online and offline commerce blurring and the expectations of buyers and sellers rising rapidly,” says Wenig. “With eBay’s latest steps, we are bringing together the best of what people need from a shopping experience – speed and convenience – with things people love about shopping, like discovery and inspiration.”

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