ONLINE SHOPPERS will soon be able to order products from eBay and then pick them up from Argos stores, thanks to a partnership between the two companies, which launched the scheme named "click and collect" on Tuesday.
Although it's just a trial to begin with, the initiative means buyers won't have to ensure that someone is home to await the arrival of a parcel.
However, buyers won't be able to collect any old junk they buy from eBay in Argos shops, not for a while anyway, as the click and collect service will launch for Buy It Now auctions first and initially will be available from only 50 eBay merchants. The list of these sellers is yet to be unveiled, but a spokesperson told us that the auction website will be announcing that list soon and it will consist of large eBay merchants.
Speaking at the launch event in London today, eBay president Devin Wenig said, "[The programme] helps give consumers a seamless way to shop on eBay and pick up in store. While this is specific to the UK, this is global news because this is the way we see the future of shopping evolving.
"Our flexible technology will help merchants integrate their offers seamlessly into eBay and helps them shop local inventory and collect their goods at a physical location they choose. This is our vision of the future of shopping: seamless and end to end with multiple options. Pick up in store or have it shipped."
For those merchants that don't have the click and collect capability available to them, or even physical stores, Wenig said that eBay eventually will offer "an equivalent of a high street presence", allowing merchants to be able to ship a customer's order directly to an Argos location where they can pick it up in the store.
"Think of Argos as offering fulfilment capabilities for eBay sellers all around Britain," Wenig added.
The click and collect service "will begin soon" as a trial, beginning with 150 of the 750 Argos stores around the country.
Argos MD John Walden joined Wenig on stage to further applaud the partnership. He said, "We believe that as the digital world evolves and more and more businesses go digital and shift from traditional store purchases, we think that that the unique capabilities that Argos has with distribution and store collection will become more and more relevant to the market place."
"We think that there might be a model where Argos could provide these unique capabilities to others; traditional retailers, online retailers in the market place, and that's the purpose of the trail and partnership we announced today."
As part of the announcement, the auction website also said that eBay Now - a one hour order and delivery service - will be coming to the UK early next year. µ
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