Retailers looking to sell more merchandise may not need more physical space to do it. They may soon be able to extend the boundaries of their brick-and-mortar shops with large digital screens — if an eBay test proves viable.
Ebay is introducing “24-hour window shops” in certain areas of New York City. The “window shops” are actually touchscreens measuring 9 feet across and 2 feet high.
They allow customers to purchase products a physical retail store may not have in stock. They will also be used to allow purchases after store hours. And they can be used in vacant storefronts or other locations, to extend the physical boundaries of brick and mortar retailers.
In fact, the test run for the new windows includes four screens in front of closed stores located in busy parts of New York City’s Soho and lower east side.
That test run began last week and will continue through July 7, Reuters reports.
Ebay partnered with Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc. for the beta run of its new shoppable windows venture. The digital store windows will allow the clothing retailer to launch its new Kate Spade Saturday fashion brand without initially opening additional physical retail stores.
“This ability for consumers to shop not only online and offline, but also locally and globally, is why eBay Inc. is particularly excited about its latest shopping innovation. With our partners at Kate Spade Saturday, we are launching four 24-hour Window Shops in Manhattan,” announced the official eBay blog.
Ebay will sell 30 items from the new fashion line via this 24-hour shopping technology, during the test period. The experience is more like shopping at a physical location than shopping online in another way too: immediacy. Purchases are delivered to customers by courier within the hour with payment managed through PayPal Here, a mobile payment service developed by Ebay.
Opportunities may be available for other retailers to take part in Ebay’s new “shoppable windows” venture once it passes the testing phase.
Steve Yankovich, vice president of innovation and new ventures at eBay told Julie Strickland of Inc.com the best approach for businesses interested in trying the platform is to adopt PayPal technology since that’s the method “shoppable windows” will use to make sales.