EBay has bought speedy delivery firm Shutl as it aims to extend its ‘eBay Now’ one hour delivery service including launching in the UK in early 2014.

The acquisition of Shutl, which uses a network of couriers to deliver local goods, fits in with eBay’s strategy of expanding its local delivery capabilities.

The marketplace, which launched eBay Now last year in San Francisco and New York, will roll out the service to 25 major US cities by the end of the year, as well as London next year.

“Today, approximately 75% of what people buy is local, found within 15 miles from their home,” said EBay Marketplaces president Devin Wenig. “Traditional retail isn’t going away. But it is transforming, and that creates enormous opportunity within the $10 trillion total commerce market.”

Shutl founder Tom Allason said: “I have the utmost appreciation for the eBay team and am excited and honored for Shutl to be a part of their plans, starting today in Chicago. eBay’s bold vision to redefine local commerce is one that fits perfectly with what we have set out to achieve at Shutl. E-commerce is quick and convenient, two things that delivery is not. Together with eBay, we believe that we can transform this market and fulfil our mission.”

Shutl will continue to serve its US and UK retail partners, including Oasis, Argos and Maplin. Allason said it will be speeding up its national and international roll-outs and increasing investment in new product development.

“In short, we will be working harder than ever to make our service faster, better and more accessible for consumers around the world,” he said.

EBay will also be launching scheduled delivery for eBay Now, enabling customers to buy something on their mobile phone, pick a time that works for their schedule, and have their items delivered to them then.

Following on from its Argos tie-up in the UK, eBay will launch in-store collection at Toys R’Us and Best Buy in the US with more retailers “coming soon”. 

Wenig said: “The world is changing, with the lines between online and offline commerce blurring and the expectations of buyers and sellers rising rapidly. With eBay’s latest steps, we are bringing together the best of what people need from a shopping experience - speed and convenience - with things people love about shopping, like discovery and inspiration.”

EBay also revealed a series of improvements to its marketplace. It is launching Collections, groups of products that have been hand-selected from the 500 million items it sells, by expert curators including musician Pharrell Williams as well as eBay buyers.

EBay users will be able to personalise their feed by following specific collections, curators and interests.

Buyers and sellers are also able to customise a profile to give information about themselves and collections they’ve created or their interests.

It is also launching eBay Today, a new page to discover the new, best collections daily.