eBay’s latest retail pop-up tracks shoppers emotions on camera
By WGSN Insider

This holiday season for two days you can check out the eBay pop-up store, where biometric booths and cameras track your emotions as you shop. WGSN’s Sandra Halliday reports

Nov 30, 2016
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Cool or creepy? A new eBay pop-up store at 93 Mortimer Street in London, is toeing the line between those two ideas, as the company has opened a two-day tech-powered pop-up where consumers can shop for the perfect present using their emotional connection to certain items.

eBay pop-up store in London using mood technology

eBay pop-up store in London using mood technology

The e-tailer linked with US tech firm Lightwave to fit 100 test shoppers with biometric wearable devices and sent them on a shopping trip. Apart from discovering that the shoppers lost interest after 32 minutes on average and just bought anything to (however unsuitable) so they could tick another person off their list, they also experienced major stress.

In fact, 88% of them saw their heart rate raised by 32%, which is similar to what happens to people taking part in a long race. The difference is that most runners have trained for that kind of heart stress while shoppers certainly haven’t.

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eBay’s answer to this is that gift shopping should mimic high intensity interval training with activity bursts followed by a rest, and it also wants to make gift buying easier by allowing shoppers an insight into the gifts they connect with emotionally.

Its two-day pop-up, opened to coincide with Giving Tuesday, has biometric booths and uses intelligent bio-analytic technology and facial coding to asses which products shoppers connect with emotionally as they view items on its Giving page. It also gives them a report on their top three items before they leave. 

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The pop-up also has a giant centrepiece that acts as an emotional tapestry, giving us a real time view of shoppers’ emotions.

This mood tracking concept is becoming more and more common in the world of retail. Just last year home fragrance retailer Glade launched a pop-up called the Museum of Feelings in New York, which used each visitor’s biometric data to create a MoodLens, a unique emotional selfie that is matched with a custom fragrance. Mood sensing tech is developing quickly as the future of retail,  and brands will use it to sell the right products at the right time in the right way, from wearable fitness watches to Microsoft’s patent for emotion detecting eyeglasses.

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