eBay is diving deeper into real-time shopping with the launch of "shoppable windows," which will bolster the site's partnership with physical retailers while capitalizing on the greater shift to on-the-go shopping.
The once online auction-only behemoth continues to expand its role as a middleman between consumers and retailers, with last year's launch of its mobile, same-day delivery shopping service eBay Now as well as partnering with major retailers like Macy's on mobile payments. and wooing major retailers like Target as well as partnering with Macy's for mobile payments.
The first four windows will be open from June 8 through July 7 in New York City, each offering 30 items from the new Kate Spade Saturday collection, which was recently launched by Fifth & Pacific. The screens, which measure 9 feet across and 2 feet high, are placed on the front windows of closed stores, allowing shoppers to touch and order products, which are delivered within an hour via courier. Payment will be accepted by couriers through PayPal Here, eBay’s mobile payment service.
For Fifth & Pacific, the windows will serve (for now) as the exclusive launchpad for Kate Spade Saturday. "My nickname for it is the Wall as a Mall," said CEO William McComb, according to Reuters. McComb is also considering shoppable windows in small Juicy Couture stores that would feature 200 different shoes as well as windows in Kate Spade New York stores to sell home furnishings, bedding, linens and towels. "We would never be able to fit all those products in a store in the traditional way," he added. "These things would typically require an extra 10,000 square feet of store space. But through partnerships like this eBay one we could do this through stores that are 2,000 square feet."
The expansion is just the latest in a stream of advancements made by the online retailer as it transforms itself into a more physical retail presence. So far, it has only seen positive results, as it claims a 19 percent share of the global e-commerce market, while other platforms like PayPal are registering annual growth to the tune of 15 percent—a number expected to double over the coming year.