Innovative ideas spark imaginations

Capilano University

An innovative tactic that Capilano University business students devised to get young adults to interact with eBay helped them win second place at the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 39th Annual International Collegiate Conference in March.

Tasked with attracting 18-35-year-olds to the online platform, CapU’s AMA case team mashed together the concept of a large digital screen, like those used in virtual change rooms, with Snapchat, so consumers who may have visited but abandoned eBay would return, interact with the site and see themselves reflected in it.

Virtual change rooms allow shoppers to see an image of themselves sporting potential purchases. CapU’s AMA team devised ways users could share such images on social media.

The team’s market research indicated young adults want to be seen as different, while also wanting to be recognized as part of a non-mainstream community. In response, students proposed a booth with a digital screen to travel to events that include the Coachella music festival and Comic-Con.

Leading up to such events, eBay could hold a contest among its sellers for items that include rare comic books and flower power accessories. Then visitors to the booth could give the winning goods a try. That way, consumers could have fun while learning more about the often hard-to-find products eBay has on offer.

Pauntehah Poursaba, team lead for the group of students who presented their strategies to representatives of eBay in New Orleans in March 2017, said they were thrilled to be recognized for their thorough market research and ingenuity.

“It was great, it being only the second year that we’ve done this,” she says. “We were ecstatic because we put so much time into this that seeing it so well received and seeing it being ranked among these massive schools that are so well-known just made us so happy to stand up there and realize that we’d done such a job.”

CapU’s team placed second after Texas State University, a school with 38,000 students.

Read more about CapU’s AMA team here.