Does the eBay/Kate Spade Pop-Up Represent Something New in Retailing?
EBay and Kate Spade Saturday are launching a pop-up shop featuring a digital touch-screen storefront window in New York this summer. The project represents part of eBay’s reach beyond its internet offerings.
"Technology is blurring the lines between online and offline commerce and a ‘new retail’ environment is emerging," an eBay spokesperson told CNET News. "One example of how eBay is partnering with retailers to provide innovative technology solutions is the work we continue to do with the Kate Spade brands."
John Donahoe, eBay CEO, explained the significance of the investment in early April at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York. "The company has made a big push into mobile and has positioned itself as a sort of mission control for mobile, helping with the entire flow instead of just allowing people to shop and make payments."
Mr. Donahoe said eBay was "on track to see $20 billion in mobile commerce this year, based around people tapping on their devices to purchase goods through PayPal." He asserted that mobile is putting consumers in charge of retail by using multiple screens to make their purchases.
This isn’t eBay’s first venture into pop-ups. Back in 2011, promising "no queues, no bags, no stress," customers scanned quick response (QR) codes on price tags in a London West End pop-up store, paid through eBay and waited for purchases to be delivered to their homes, according to The Guardian. Products consisted of eBay’s "200 bestsellers, which range from House of Fraser party frocks to toys from The Entertainer." Another in New York also opened that year.
TechCrunch reported on Mr. Donahoe’s determination to position eBay "where retailers are still doing the majority of their transactions, offline." Established relationships between both eBay and PayPal with bricks and mortar retailers make this a logical next step.
TechCrunch described the life-size touch-screen in the Kate Spade pop-up as "complementing eBay’s bread and butter business … the company’s way of ensuring that it will continue to remain relevant in a world where offline commerce, but also new technologies, battle for consumers’ wallets."
- eBay, retail partner to open NY shop with touch-screen window eBay, retail partner to open NY shop with touch-screen window – CNET News
- eBay to use mobile tech to go deeper into offline commerce with a touchscreen window with Kate Spade Saturday coming this summer – TechCrunch
- eBay pops up on the high street for Christmas – The Guardian
What do you think of eBay’s partnership with a bricks and mortar retailer as yet another way of connecting with consumers? Does the pop-up shop with lifesize touch-screen represent a “new retail environment” as claimed by eBay?