EBay is determined to make “omnichannel” more than a buzzword.
After a year of testing, the e-commerce and technology giant has begun the rollout of its Retail Associate Platform — and already has DSW, Nine West and Aéropostale on board. The tablet-based software was unveiled in late 2013 and offers participating brands a number of ways to enhance their offline experience by tapping into the online world.
Providing a mobile point of sale is a given. But the service also helps users measure store performance, locate inventory and access consumer databases, with specific information on purchase history and what items customers placed in their online shopping carts.
The platform was built to level the playing field between associate and consumer through data, mobile technology and good, old-fashioned in-person customer service, said David Geisinger, eBay’s head of retail business strategy and innovation.
“Imagine you walk into Nine West and see a pair of boots but they don’t have your size,” Geisinger told WWD. “Traditionally, the process to get the boots in the right size has been complicated.” Now, the associate can see all inventory in real-time with the “Endless Aisle” application — from central fulfillment or other stores — so they can complete that sale for the customer then and there.
“The idea is to save the sale,” he said.
That’s an idea that appeals to retailers.
“Previously, we were limited to, ‘Here’s what’s in the store,’ but now we can get really smart about it and recommend a broader assortment and come up with recommendations that are relevant to the customer,” said Milton Pappas, Nine West’s president of e-commerce. “Before that, the iPad was just an order device.”
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