Starting tomorrow for five days 34/35 Dean Street, just off London’s Oxford Street, will be home to eBay’s UK version of the pop-up store. There are no tills in eBay’s Christmas Boutique (image below) but with over 350 items on display shoppers simply scan an associated QR Code that resolves to the item’s page on eBay and then complete their purchase in the normal way. In addition to Christmas best sellers there are donated charity items and clothing from the Fashion Outlet.
At the preview yesterday I saw two kinds of QR Code encoding, long urls that resolve to the specific item and bitly urls that resolve to generic search pages. I suspect that this is because someone discovered that generic search page urls with 140+ characters are just too dense to put on sales tickets. It is a pity that this wasn’t thought through and all eBay’s QR Codes encoded with bitly or even better an eBay branded url shortner. It’s a technical point and in no way detracts from what is a pioneering experiment in Internet shopping in a physical store in the heart of London. If you are in range take a look!