eBay takes on Australian retailers and Amazon with unlimited delivery plan

eBay takes on Australian retailers and Amazon with unlimited delivery plan

Online retail behemoth eBay is set take on rival Amazon with a new shopping membership program for Australian online shoppers.

The arrival of eBay Plus is also expected to provide further upheaval for Australia's struggling "bricks and mortar" retailers with shoppers to be given unlimited  deliveries and returns on new items for an introductory annual fee of $29. Once the introductory period ends, customers will be charged a $49 annual fee.

eBay Plus will be rolled out in Australia in mid-June and is similar to Amazon Prime which also offers free delivery among other perks for a monthly subscription, although Amazon Prime is only available in the US.

Australia will be the second market to receive eBay Plus after it was introduced in Germany in 2015.

eBay, which sells items ranging from clothing and technology along with homewares and alcohol, is targeting the emerging online shopping market in Australia which attracts just eight per cent of retail spending overall.

The free delivery and returns policy will also be supplemented by exclusive deals, double flybuys points and promises a "premium service".

According to eBay, around eight percent of Australia's 13.6 million online shoppers spend more than $200 on deliveries each year, while more than one third spend more than $71.

Most Australian online retailers charge a delivery unless shoppers hit a set threshold and typically it costs around $10 for an item under $100. eBay says its delivery costs will be covered by the eBay Plus membership fee.

Australia Post's annual Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, which provides an overview of Australia's eCommerce market, reveals $21.3 billion was spent on physical goods online in 2017, up 18.7 per cent on the previous year.

It also revealed online shopping purchases increased by 19.2 per cent and predicts that by 2020 one in 10 items will be bought online.

More than $1.6 billion was spent using "buy now, pay later" programs which accounted for 7.7 per cent of total online goods spend, while one in five online purchases are made via mobile phone.

The report also revealed consumer electronics, clothing and books were the top online expenditure and 99.9 per cent of global online spend sits outside of Australia.

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