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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 12, 2013

eBay launches new platform aimed at in-store sales staff

The online-only retail company has launched the Retail Associate Platform, aimed at large and small store owners, to bring together point of sale technology, consumer data, and social media activity to personalize the in-store sales experience and boost sales.

by Helen Leggatt

The new retail app is for use by sales staff in a physical store, and works on tablets that employees carry around the store. Called the Retail Associate Platform, it can supply information about past customers, such as their previous purchases, items they have browsed on the store's website, and their product preferences.

The app also provides store staff with inventory available in other stores and online, allowing them to order another size or color directly from the mobile device. It can also suggest potential purchases based on a shopper's style and preferences.

Customers who have an account with PayPal, the online and mobile payment company owned by eBay, simply check in on their smartphone using bluetooth technology when they enter a store, alerting sales staff to their arrival.

According to eBay head of retail innovation, Healey Cypher, the Retail Associate Platform brings "web-grade thinking into the physical world".

"Physical stores just aren't going away," said David Geisinger, head of retail business strategy for eBay. "Without this technology, retailers will be left behind."

The technology will also empower store staff who can find it hard to engage with smartphone-wielding shop visitors who often, through their device, know more about a store's inventory and products than they do.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brick-and-mortar, consumer preferences, loyalty marketing, retail apps, retail experience, shopping insights, store staff

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