Open retailing website, eBay, has announced it is to run an in-store retail outlet for Christmas shoppers where it will be possible to make purchases via QR codes.

Believed to be the first instance in the UK of customers being able to use QR (quick response) codes to make direct purchases from a wide range of in-store offers, eBay’s innovative retail experiment will take place in a single store in London for a limited period, just prior to Christmas.

QR codes are of course normally used to obtain information about products rather than to secure the products themselves.

Consisting of a complex series of patterns, the codes can usually be scanned and decoded by a smartphone in order for the information in question to be revealed.

A now fairly frequently used marketing tool, QR codes have occasionally been known to enable direct purchases to be facilitated. The eBay experiment however, is believed to be the first time that QR codes have been used for multiple purchases en masse in this way.

Under the experiment, shoppers will be able to visit the store and examine a wide range of different products. Should they decide to make a purchase, all they need do is scan the QR code included on the item in question.

In keeping with their experiences of using eBay online, the in-store shoppers will then have all their purchases delivered to their homes.

The experiment will run at 34 Dean Street in London between 1st and 5th December.