The online marketplace has been experimenting with physical retail through pop ups and hosted its second Christmas pop-up last weekend (1 December) in London’s Covent Garden to coincide with what was expected to be the busiest online shopping weekend of the year.
The social shopping pop-up aimed to demonstrate the breadth of its technology and how its shopping data and social media integrates with shopping on mobile. Features such as a real time
Twitter barometer linking products listed on eBay with the most popular Twitter searches and augmented reality displays were designed to showcase how mobile and social come together in the future.
EBay expects purchases through mobile and tablet devices to account for a third of purchases this Christmas – double last year’s figure. It is also expected to double again by next Christmas.
Speaking to Marketing Week at the pop-up Carrie Bienkowski, head of buyer experience at eBay, said click and collect is “the future of retail” highlighting the importance the online marketplace puts on multichannel.
Bienkowski said: “We know that shopping more and more is about convenience. People want to be able to shop any where any time on any device and channel but what were also seeing is that its not just an offline versus online question. More and more it’s blurring and that’s part of the thing we’re showcasing today with some of the augmented reality tools.”
When asked if eBay would look to roll out its own click and collect operations to help the brand play a part in multichannel retail Bienkowski said: “Absolutely, at the end of the day eBay is a marketplace and a platform about connecting buys with sellers … we want to enable not just online transactions but be able to blur those lines between online transactions and having those physical stores available to do things like pick up and returns more and more is part of the shopping experience.”
Ebay has more than 190,000 registered business sellers many of which already offer physical stores. It is likely to work with them to develop its online platform to offer multichannel services.