Ebay has paid an undisclosed amount for UK based business Shutl. The company connects retailers and couriers in real time and enables sellers to be able to ship goods to customers throughout the country in as little as one hour. The retailer already offers a similar service in other markets, especially the US, and has signed deals with the likes of Argos to offer in-store collections.
The prospect of being able to buy Ebay goods at considerable reductions compared to buying from other shops, and then receiving the goods within a few hours could well help Ebay to enjoy even greater market share in the UK.
One idea that analysts and commentators seem less enamoured with is that of curated collections.
When you visit the Ebay Today page, you will be presented with a curated collection of items chosen by of a number of celebrities. The hope, we presume, is that seeing products that are being pushed by celebrities will encourage us to buy them. The principle of celebrity endorsement certainly works with major marketing campaigns but questions have been raised over whether a similar model will work for auction site Ebay.
One item that you are unlikely to see being delivered to your door or part of a curated collection is that of Esthwaite Water in the Lake District. The private lake is said to have inspired Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth and was put for sale on Ebay by current owner Nigel Woodhouse with a guide price of £300,000. The sale includes a number of business interests as well as the 290 acre lake itself and is considered the first of its type on Ebay.