Local is front and center in the next phase of ecommerce opening up, said eBAY VP of Marketplaces Jody Ford during a keynote address Dec. 10 at Leading in Local: Interactive Local Media in San Francisco. Ford said the past several years have been about online service, inventory and convenience and have necessarily favored online sites such as Amazon. But a new era of commerce that is consumer driven and technology enabled will blur the lines between online and offline.
“That is local,” said Ford. “There will be more retail change in the next three years than in the past twenty years.” And it will necessarily favor “platform” companies such as eBay, which Ford boasts has “the largest group of closed loop transactions in the world served by eBay, eBay Enterprises and PayPal.”
“My job is to remove friction from connecting buyers and sellers,” he said. In fact, eBay “sits in the middle between utility sites such as Amazon and Walmart, and social shopping sites such as Etsy, Pinterest and Fab,” he said.
The company’s next steps include such efforts as same day, scheduled delivery via eBay Now, which is supported by eBay’s recent acquisition of the Shutl courier service. eBay Now has been rolled out in the Bay Area, Chicago and parts of New York City. Dallas and London are next.