EBay has upped the stakes in the ongoing battle for Australian online shoppers, revealing that it will launch a new membership program from mid-June, providing members with free deliveries and returns.
The eBay Plus program, which will be available at an annual cost of $49 (or at an introductory offer of $29), will provide members with free delivery and returns on 15 million products, with eBay stating it “will revolutionise the retail experience for Australian shoppers”.
The move comes as competition heats up in the local e-commerce market, following US online behemoth Amazon’s arrival last year. Locally, eBay has even barred sellers from using Amazon’s fulfilment service, in a move that is exclusive to Australia.
Meanwhile, as reported by Business Insider, Amazon appears set to ramp up its efforts in Australia by expanding its Prime service, which in the US provides users access to benefits including free two-day shipping.
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EBay says its eBay Plus program will free shoppers from “the burden of ongoing delivery costs”, and will effectively give shoppers access to free delivery from a range of larger Australian retailers, including Myer, Target and Chemist Warehouse.
Research commissioned by the online retail platform this year shows 36% of Australia’s 13.6 million online shoppers spend over $71 on delivery each year, with 8% spending in excess of $2,002.
“We know our customers love the value and convenience of online shopping, but our research shows the cost of delivery can stack up over time,” Tim MacKinnon, eBay Australia and New Zealand managing director, commented.
“EBay Plus is the ultimate shopping membership. It’s like getting free delivery from your local shopping centre without leaving home.”