The “Retail Associate Platform” is an opt-in service that will allow eBay PayPal customers to check-in with their smartphones when they walk into a store. Store assistants are then served information on shoppers’ previous purchases and their product preferences via an app as well having access to product information in other nearby stores if they do not have a particular size or colour in stock.
The online retailer says the push to create more personalised experiences will “empower brands to drive long-term engagement” with consumers. It adds the platform will come to replace the sales assistant’s “little black book” and increase the “value of an average in-store order”.
The launch comes after recent research commissioned by eBay revealed the majority of retailers (85 per cent) cannot customise their in-store experiences due to lack of information on shoppers. Among retailers surveyed by eBay, more than two thirds (76 per cent) did not know when a specific customer was in their store.
David Geisinger, head of retail business strategy at eBay Enterprise, says bespoke retail experiences for shoppers will be key to the survival of high-street brands.
He adds: “With more traditional retail models, if a customer walks in and doesn’t buy, the retailer has no idea they even exist. Even if they do buy with a credit card, the information they have is very minimal. With this new technology, retailers will be able to gather more detail that can help them understand the customer and compete in a crowded commerce landscape.”
The service is currently being rolled out across North America and will launch in the UK before the end of next year.
The company is also conducting a “sofa shopping” pilot in the US that serves tablet users content based on what they’re watching on TV.
The retailer also revealed today (15 August) it will launch its same day eBay Now delivery service to the UK in the future to allow users to schedule item deliveries at their convenience.