The writing had been on the wall for some time for eBay Now, the e-commerce company's same-day delivery service involving local merchants. On Monday it finally confirmed the demise of the pilot service as the wider business continues to streamline its operation in a bid to cut costs.
The company's chief product officer, RJ Pittman, announced the move in a post on eBay's site, saying that despite the closure it would continue to explore different ways of getting purchased items to its 25 million or so users.
eBay launched its speedy delivery service in 2012 but it failed to catch on in a big way with the site's shoppers. Signs that the service was on its way out came as long ago as last year when the company shut down eBay Now's standalone app (moving the service to its main app), while even before that the company's former CEO John Donahoe said Now was "not essential" to eBay's core target customer.
Operated in four cities -- New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas -- the company said the service will be available for the next few days, but will close completely on Friday, July 31.
eBay said that the decision to close the program came partly after a realization that the kinds of items that its user base purchase aren't, in general, essential for same-day delivery. Delivery services are more often than not a huge logistical challenge, too, and company evidently feels Now isn't worth the effort or cost in its current form.
However, it added that it's still looking at other delivery and pick-up/drop-off options that would better suit its huge army of sellers, suggesting we'll be hearing more on the subject further down the road.
Monday's announcement comes a week after eBay split from PayPal as the online commerce company seeks to breathe new life into its service in an effort to boost revenue. Besides the Now news, the company also revealed plans to shutter other apps in the coming weeks, namely Valet and Fashion. In addition, its Motors app will be closed later this year.