We’ve blogged here about different approaches to retail, from established retail names developing their web presence and/or click-and-collect retail points online and instore, to online stores developing a footprint on the high street. Today we are writing about something a little different.
eBay, the mother of all online retail spaces, has announced the arrival of “shoppable windows”, huge touch screens that will initially be installed on New York City shop fronts for a month. USA retailer Fifth & Pacific will display items for sale from its new fashion brand, Kate Spade Saturday, so that people can browse and buy then and there, with their purchases being delivered within the hour.
The screens themselves are 9’ by 2’, definitely big enough to catch the eye of the passing consumer and they are being installed on closed retail properties, which will brighten up otherwise dead retail space. In the past eBay has set up non-interactive window displays and pop-up shops, but these shoppable windows will display items for sale that customers can purchase via the touch-screen and then pay for when the courier arrives with the item. eBay specially developed a PayPal Here mobile payment system to solve any issues around customers entering their personal financial details within a public space.
It will be interesting to see whether people will stop and use the shoppable windows if they are in an area that is full of vacant retail spaces. If they just use them to browse will that be enough for the retailer? As well as creating an extremely successful online retail space for everyone from individual vendors and independent stores, to big-name established retailers, eBay has also developed mobile shopping technology for retailers such as Macy’s Inc.
Steve Yankovich, head of eBay’s Innovation and New Ventures group, which developed the technology for the “shoppable windows”, sees them as an extension of the shift to mobile shopping, extending the boundary of the store. “Suddenly the physical store, by virtue of online technology, extends to any space that’s interesting to use,” Yankovich said.