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eBay UK is laying down the gauntlet to Amazon, launching its first end-to-end fulfilment service for UK sellers.

The online marketplace is promising that the new service, launched in collaboration with global logistics firm Orange Connex and using Royal Mail and Hermes as its delivery partners, will bring faster delivery options, improved logistics management, smoother processes and enhanced seller protection.

The fulfilment service sees eBay UK establish dedicated warehouses in Leicester and Birmingham to store, pack and deliver goods for UK business sellers – taking over the fulfilment and end-to-end logistics process. A spokeswoman said more regional warehouses could be opened in the future.

It will enable sellers on eBay to offer next-day delivery, same-day handling, a fully tracked service and late cut-off times to buyers.

eBay UK said its first fulfilment service has been launched in response to the accelerated growth in online shopping over the past year, and the rising demand from small and medium business sellers on eBay looking to scale and grow. eBay recently reported a 237% rise in new small businesses joining the platform since the start of the pandemic, the equivalent to a new business registering every two minutes.

Participating sellers will be able to use eBay Fulfilment by Orange Connex for orders that are sold on eBay or their shops on other online platforms.

For international orders, sellers participating in eBay’s global shipping programme will be able to fully integrate with the fulfilment centres using eBay Fulfilment by Orange Connex, with plans to roll this out more widely in the near future.

This service follows the launch of end-to-end fulfilment services in Germany and China, which eBay said has been “incredibly successful”.

Murray Lambell, general manager at eBay UK said: “We know that managing space and storage for inventory can be one of the biggest pain points for our sellers, while an increasingly competitive retail environment means that consumers expect faster and more transparent delivery times. eBay Fulfilment by Orange Connex sets out to address these, offering more capacity to grow and a simpler, more cost-efficient process so that sellers can offer more flexible delivery options."

He added: “Launching eBay Fulfilment by Orange Connex is how we’re going even further to help sellers adapt in a changing retail landscape, reducing burdensome costs and giving them more opportunity to focus on their business and what they do best.”

Gerry Power, country head at Orange Connex Global UK, said: “Orange Connex are delighted to be working with eBay on the launch of the new UK fulfilment service, harnessing the value of our combined experience to help many of their small business customers scale and succeed.

“As online demand has surged this year, we’re excited to be helping these businesses keep up with higher volumes of orders. This end-to-end fulfilment process will offer sellers improved visibility and control throughout the supply chain, while the end shopper can enjoy a more enhanced delivery.”