Outside the eBay digital marketing Innovation Lab.

eBay Innovation Lab

Project Type

Digital Marketing Helps Predict the Future of Retail

Continuing their well-known tradition of innovation and disruption in online retail, eBay worked with creative technologists at S1T2 and Traffik Marketing to develop the eBay Innovation Lab. A live laboratory experience in Darling Harbour, the innovation lab showcased seven of the most futuristic products currently available over three days, giving audiences a chance to experience and explore the latest cutting-edge technology in an immersive data-driven environment.

Establishing the online retailer as an innovation frontrunner, the digital marketing activation used data-tracking cameras to gather valuable consumer behaviour data, providing key insights into the trends that are set to inform the future of the retail landscape. When visitors entered the Innovation Lab, they were provided with trackable 3D-printed headsets and customised Android devices. Through these technologies, each person’s movements, gaze, engagement, dwell times, and insights were then tracked and recorded as they moved through the enclosed experiential environment. As they left the experience, visitors were sent an email snapshot of their journey and data touchpoints, giving them an insight into the technology that will likely play a central role in our lives in the future.

Over three consecutive days the eBay Innovation Lab saw over 1,700 people spend an average of 42 minutes in the experience. A series of case studies about the technology behind the experience can be viewed on S1T2’s YouTube channel.

Inside the eBay Innovation Lab digital marketing experience.

Personalised Experience through Tracking

Within the eBay Innovation Lab, we set up four different tracking systems to run concurrently throughout the duration of the experience. To begin, journey tracking was enabled throughout the experiential marketing activation through the Samsung S6 Edge that visitors were provided upon entering the experience. Interacting with 180° cameras mounted to the ceiling throughout the environment, a custom Android app on each device recorded user data through RFID enabled interaction points at each product plinth.

Meanwhile, gaze tracking recorded everywhere visitors looked through front-facing cameras mounted on the top of each plinth. Position tracking was facilitated both through Bluetooth beacons and the customised Android application, while visitors were also able to review products manually through the app with the help of the RFID plinth markers.

Combining and synthesising this tracking information in a Node.js brain system then allowed us to provide data-driven insights on the various stages of each visitor’s journey through the digital marketing experience. These insights were used to categorise visitors according to their interest in products, devices and technologies to produce predictions about the future of emerging technologies in Australia. Finally, a summary of these interactions was sent to each visitor through a personalised EDM automatically generated from their actions.

  • Design

    • Autodesk AutoCAD,
    • Autodesk Maya,
    • Blender,
    • Sketch.
  • Development

    • Java,
    • Max MSP,
    • MySQL,
    • Node.js.
  • Hardware

    • RGB Cameras.
  • Networking

    • HTTP,
    • OSC.
Man interacts with the eBay Innovation Lab digital marketing experience.
Man experiences virtual reality in the eBay Innovation Lab.

Data-Driven Predictions

Analysis of the specific user data collected throughout the experiential marketing activation – through gaze monitoring, journey tracking, and mobile questionnaires – was used to gain insights into the retail marketing habits of each consumer. This made the experience an intelligent application that could make data-driven predictions about the adoption rates that emerging technologies such as hologram generators, 3D printers, drones, and virtual reality headsets would receive across Australia. Through this, eBay was able to use technology to determine what is and isn’t likely to be welcomed into our homes in the future.