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Coles now selling food on eBay

Coles on Wednesday started selling a range of ‘everyday essentials’ on eBay, in a bid to reach some of the marketplace’s 11 million unique monthly visitors.

The offering includes perishable and non-perishable items in Coles’ everyday essentials range across several categories, including select pre-packaged fresh food, pantry, personal care and household items.

The items at launch are available to eBay shoppers in metro Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Shoppers will initially have just one delivery option, though more will be added throughout the year, according to a statement from eBay and Coles. 

Alister Jordan, chief executive of Coles Online, described the partnership as being all about convenience.

“By partnering with eBay, we are providing our customers another convenient way to access our products and have them delivered straight to their door,” he said in a statement.

The idea is that consumers who are already buying fashion, homewares and electronics on eBay can also complete their food shopping on the online marketplace, rather than having to make a second – virtual – trip to Coles’ e-commerce site.

“It really comes down to convenience and being able to choose from a great range of groceries as well as those bigger ticket items you can’t get from a supermarket,” Julie Nestor, eBay’s CMO, told IR.

“Think about planning for a dinner party and being able to purchase everything from the table setting to the meal ingredients on the one site – it’s a more convenient, seamless way to shop online.”

There is also the fact that more and more brands stocked on supermarket shelves are increasing their direct-to-consumer sales through their own websites or marketplaces like Amazon, which expanded into the pantry category last October, though it doesn’t yet offer fresh food in Australia.

For eBay, the partnership seems to be about growing its eBay Plus membership program, which it launched in May 2018 in what many saw as a response to Amazon Prime.

The program, which costs $49 a year, includes unlimited delivery and returns on new items bought on eBay, discounts on the Stan streaming service and opportunities to earn points through Coles’ flybuys loyalty program.

Nestor confirmed to IR that launching Coles’ food offering on eBay has been in the works for some time.

“After we successfully launched our partnership with flybuys last year, this is a natural extension of our relationship with Coles,” she said.

Nestor declined to say how many members are currently signed up to the eBay Plus program, but she described the uptake so far as “really positive” and said the company expects it to continue to grow with the launch of Coles on eBay.

EBay Plus members get free delivery on orders that are $49 and over, and they earn double the number of flybuys points on all orders.

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