eBay has agreed to buy Shutl, the rapid delivery specialist founded by Tom Allason in 2009.
It said it believed that the acquisition of Shutl’s technology, talent and expertise would help eBay to reach its goal of expanding its local delivery capabilities.
The retailerplans to expand its eBay Now service to 25 markets by the end of 2014, including major metropolitan areas in North America, starting in Chicago and Dallas later this year, and select international markets, including London in early 2014.
Shutl provides the technology that connects the customer with a network of local same-day carriers. It promises super-fast deliveries at a comparable price to standard delivery, meaning sometimes even free.
Allason said: “I have the utmost appreciation for the eBay team and am excited and honoured for Shutl to be a part of their plans, starting today in Chicago. eBay’s bold vision to redefine local commerce is one that fits perfectly with what we have set out to achieve at Shutl.
“Approximately 75 per cent of commerce happens within 15 miles of the consumer’s home. E-commerce is quick and convenient, two things that delivery is not. Together with eBay, we believe that we can transform this market and fulfil our mission.”
eBay introduced eBay Now last October. The service available through iPhone, Android and desktop web allows shoppers to have products from local stores delivered in as little as an hour.
eBay Now is one element in a larger strategy to advance eBay’s capabilities in local commerce, and help retailers take advantage of technology to reach more customers and increase sales.
Allason said: “This is very far from the end of the road for Shutl. Rather this is a doorway to a much greater opportunity, one that we at Shutl can’t wait to start executing on.
“Shutl will continue to serve our retail partners in the UK and the US. We will be speeding up our national and international roll-outs and increasing our investment in new product development. In short, we will be working harder than ever to make our service faster, better and more accessible for consumers around the world.”