Behind the Scenes: a Glimpse into the Future of Retail

Healey Cypher, Head of Retail Innovation, eBay Inc.

Retail is going to change more in the next five years than in the past 20. Thanks to the continuing evolution of ecommerce, customers have become accustomed to finding what they want, when they want it. As a member of eBay Inc.’s Retail Innovation team, my aim is to help infuse the best of digital into physical retail space.

In just two years, our team has grown from a small, two-man operation to a 17-person crew residing in a ‘secret’ off-campus retail laboratory. 

Along the way, we’ve been honored to collaborate with incredible brands like Rebecca Minkoff, Kate Spade, Sony, TOMS, Toys”R”Us, and partners like the Simon Property Group and Westfield Labs. We’ve also launched our innovations in more than five cities around the United States.


Just recently, we launched our first Connected Store with Rebecca Minkoff in New York City, which represented a vision of where we believe retail is headed (Minkoff’s second connected store opened in San Francisco earlier this month).  Starting with one of today’s most connected demographics— the millennial woman in fashion — we incorporated our technology into beautiful, authentic materials while ensuring the brand and merchandise were paramount to the customer experience. 

By focusing on the moments of friction within the store and infusing technology to make that friction invisible, we were able to bring together the best of the offline and in-store experiences. Rebecca Minkoff’s Connected Fitting Rooms and Connected Wall are just the starting point of this hybrid innovation.

We continue to challenge the definition of mobility, while keeping our eBay customers at the center. Technology simply is a vehicle to help customers connect to the brands they love.

Our team is the most dynamic and versatile I’ve ever had the honor to work with.

The space you’ll see in the video below reflects our aesthetic values, underscoring the importance of the juxtaposition of technology and honest materials. It’s where we test. It’s where we dream, where we get down to the details and where our vision for the future of retail comes to life. And it’s now officially, no longer a “secret” lab.  Please enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at our lab and let me know what innovations you’d like to see next.