eBay, Westfield to Launch Digital Storefronts

Zacks

eBay Inc (EBAY) recently entered into a partnership with Westfield Labs, a unit of Westfield Group to launch three digital storefronts in San Francisco. These are basically touch-sensitive store windows through which customers can select merchandise. The details are then sent to their mobile phones where they can pay for products using eBay’s Paypal system.

With the introduction of this connected glass digital shopping facility, shoppers can now browse or buy more than 100 selected products from Sony, TOMS and Rebecca Minkoff at the Westfield San Francisco Centre. Once the products are selected, they can be pushed to the customer’s mobile phone and paid securely through PayPal.

If the strategy proves to be a success, it may be tried out at other busy locations as well. However, while it sounds novel and helpful for the holiday season rush, it may not be that useful when the stores themselves are going empty. Unless of course customers are able to shop even after the stores are closed (since products may be delivered at any specified address as in online shopping). This interface looks like a meeting point for online and offline shopping, so it could be a very interesting development.

eBay is one of the world's largest online marketplaces. Goods and services are sold on the platform by a large number of individuals and small businesses all over the world. Other than the U.S., it provides country-specific sites in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Japan, Korea and Australia.

eBay has taken all the necessary measures, beginning with the fixed price format to wooing big sellers and customers, improving technology and navigation of its properties, investing in better fulfillment services and focusing on mobile customers to boost profitability. Its drive to provide complete online solutions for traditional retailers should further add to its growth going forward.

eBay reported third quarter revenues of $3.9 billion, up 14.3% from the year-ago quarter. Its non-GAAP earnings per share of 54 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents per share.

Currently, eBay has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors could instead consider Geeknet Inc (GKNT) and Netflix Inc (NFLX), both with a Zacks Rank # 1 (Strong Buy) and Microchip Technology Inc (MCHP) with a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).
 

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