eBay Pop-up shop in London’s West End turns shopping into an ironic mix of m-commerce in brick ‘n mortar. Photo by Getty Images.

In a very interesting move by eBay, their pop-up shop that started December 1 in London’s West End high street district may have tapped into a growing trend in shopping patterns. The pop-up shop, which featured top eBay items ranging from clothing to flat screen TV’s in rooms with themes such as a “girlie boudoir” and “bloke’s paradise” not only tapped into the growing fascination of pop-up stores which generates interest with consumers interested in entertaining, limited-edition finds and experiences, but also the growing trend of smart phones in the UK (and world in general).

In the eBay pop-up shop, there were no cash registers. One paid by swiping QR codes with one’s smart phone, which then takes you to the eBay payment section. The purchased items are then sent to the buyer’s home no need for shopping bags. In essence, it’s bringing online shoppers to mobile shopping into a brick ‘n mortar store. As ironic as it all sounds, it seems to have worked as eBay extended the opening of the store a few days longer.

To put this in perspective, eBay owns Pay Pal, Magento, and other commerce companies and has a new division called X-commerce which is expected to combine them all. This could also allow people to easily build stores in the future, which tie into eBay which ties into possibly cracking the code on micro payments and turning shoppers into having the capability of being their own retailer too.

The location of the high street shopping district was also an interesting choice. As we’ve seen in our Global Youth Culture Studies, among youth culture shoppers in the UK, they tend to buy more frequently in stores compared with online (although this is growing) compared with youth culture in the United States which has moved faster to shopping online (but not as fast as Japan when it comes to mobile shopping).

This could be a testing ground for eBay for similar launches in key locations in the United States in the future.

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