EBay Unveils Inspiration Shop, Posts Q3 Gain

The initiative involves a series of store windows in New York that are shoppable 24/7 and leverage eBay’s mobile technology.

NEW YORK — EBay is going after the on-demand shopper.

This story first appeared in the October 20, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The online auction site will today unveil the eBay Inspiration Shop, a series of five store windows at 404 Park Avenue South at 28th Street here. The windows, which will be in place through Nov. 10, are shoppable 24/7 and leverage eBay’s mobile technology.

Consumers are invited to download the eBay app to scan custom Quick Response codes and shop similar items — available “new and now” — from more than 200 million listings on the eBay marketplace. EBay has been trying to drive home the point that it’s more than auctions and used merchandise. A spokeswoman said that 62 percent of eBay listings are fixed price and 70 percent are new products.

Ebay commissioned a national survey on shopping that found 48 percent of consumers want to make an immediate purchase when they find something they love and 46 percent enjoy browsing store windows for inspiration.

“Mobile technology is blurring the lines between online and offline retail to meet this demand,” said Richelle Parham, chief marketing officer of eBay North America. “The Inspiration Shop brings to life how eBay enables people to immediately act on their passion for shopping in this new commerce environment.”

EBay’s suite of mobile applications has been downloaded nearly 50 million times. One purchase is made through mobile every second, the company said. Shopping enthusiasts use mobile devices to shop more than any other category of shopper. Sixty percent of fashion enthusiasts and 65 percent of electronics enthusiasts own smartphones, compared to less than 30 percent of the general public.

The e-tailer consulted with so-called trendsetters, including actors, designers, bloggers, stylists, editors, photographers, models and musicians, who gave their ideas for products in three categories: fashion, motors and electronics. The contributors included Betsey Johnson, Catherine Malandrino, Charlotte Ronson, Coco Rocha, Lake Bell, Molly Sims, Simon Doonan and Trina Turk.

Separately, eBay Inc. said Wednesday that third-quarter income for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose 13.6 percent to $490.5 million, or 37 cents a diluted share, from $431.9 million, or 33 cents, last year. Revenues rose 32 percent to $2.97 billion from $2.25 billion.

For the nine months, income inched up 0.6 percent to $1.25 billion, or 95 cents a diluted share, from $1.24 billion, or 94 cents, in the year-ago period. Revenues grew 24.2 percent to $8.27 billion from $6.66 billion.