eBay opens social shopping experience in London’s Covent Garden – pictures

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eBay is hosting a “social shopping” pop-up in London over the weekend to tie in with what it predicts to be its busiest online shopping day of the year in the UK. Over six million people are expected to log on to its site this Sunday, and a significant number of those are likely to come from mobile, it says.

No surprise then, the Covent Garden setup is built around how to make the most of eBay using your smartphone or tablet, recognising at the same time how important social media is in that space too.

I just went along to check it out, as the pictures above and below show. On display is a real-time barometer of the most talked about gifts and products over Twitter, an augmented reality experience highlighting this year’s must-have toys (note the Furby in the below shot), an example of its image recognition technology in action, and more.

That latter one sees a number of fashion bloggers pictured on the wall alongside a fabric swatch they’ve picked out. Each one can be scanned using the eBay fashion app to bring up similar colours and items available across the site. We trialled our scarves to double check they weren’t preloaded results – it did of course work wonderful.

eBay says mobile technologies such as this, as well as augmented reality and 3D, will present the UK retail industry with a potential boost of £2.4bn by 2014.

Carrie Bienkowski, head of buyer experience at eBay, said it’s changing the way we shop. “Consumers now carry a global showroom in their pocket and are increasingly as inclined to seek recommendations online and shop mobile as visit the high street. At eBay we expect 2012 to be our most successful mobile Christmas ever with around 30% of the most popular Christmas products being bought through a smartphone.”

eBay’s social shopping pop-up space is open from today until Sunday – if you’re in the area, check it out.

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