eBay’s new London concept space explores the science of why we shop

Are you an inspired shopper? A copy-cat shopper? Or do you simply shop on autopilot? That’s what eBay wants to know. eBay’s new central London pop-up concept space is interested in the science behind why we shop. And so, in the name of research I spent this morning with a headset on to learn more about how my brainwaves influence my shopping habits.

The eBay concept store in Mortimer street is called The Art of Shopping and uses pioneering neuroscience to inspire more colourful shopping. What does that mean in practice? Well, at 9am I was greeted by a scientist who wrapped a headband around my head, and led me into a gallery-themed space, with 10 pieces of modern artworks curated by Saatchi Art. The headband created by mind-tech experts MyndPlay is a EEG (electroencephalogram) monitor that measures your brainwaves to track your emotions and see how happy you are at any given point. The reason behind this? eBay wanted to track which pieces of art I was most emotionally attracted to, and from that it came up with a list of products that I might be interested in, based on how much time I spent looking at the art and my emotional state at the time.

Pretty cool right? The goal was to help visitors understand their behaviours and be more aware when they are shopping rather than just following the pack or blindly putting things in their basket. The science is pretty interesting stuff, but it’s worth noting that my results suggested that I buy a juicer (so far, so accurate) and but also a kid’s scooter (not so much!) and a patio heater (don’t ask!) So, based on my results I’d say not all of the products make sense for me, but the experiment did have its desired effect, i.e. to get me thinking about the WHY behind my shopping. If you want to experience this yourself, the space is also open to the public tomorrow from 9-4pm, at 2 Fitzroy Place.

And of course, for retail enthusiasts, today’s experience builds into a bigger retail trend of personalisation.

“We want to be there for consumers when inspiration strikes and offer a more personalised shopping experience. Through the Art of Shopping we’re exploring this in a fun, engaging way but the integration of interests at the end of the year gives a glimpse into how we see the future of shopping on eBay”, said Rob Hattrell, Vice President of eBay UK.

eBay will be following up this art/retail experience by rolling out new homepages built on AI that will offer shoppers extreme personalisation and a tailored browsing experience that better understands their shopping tastes across different categories – what more could anyone ask for?



The art of shopping.

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