Those good people at eBay have a knack at capturing both zeitgeist and Christmas spirit every year.

Those good people at eBay have a knack at capturing both zeitgeist and Christmas spirit every year.

On the back of last year’s pop-up social media Christmas shop, which showcased top trending festive gifts and, in a nod to the power of social, we have the world’s first shoppable pantomime.

The panto comes as the phenomenon of dual screening – people who watch TV and browse online at the same time – is on the rise. Shoppers are taking inspiration from what they see on TV and browsing and buying on their mobile.

And, according to eBay, there is no time when shoppers need more inspiration than at Christmas. Research commissioned by the online giant shows that 60% of British shoppers are searching online endlessly without buying over Christmas while 48% of us resort to simply asking friends and family what they want.

However, this year eBay will be your fairy godmother and help give you inspiration for that perfect present while you get into festive spirit at its panto ‘Cinderella: An Inspirational Fair-Retail’ (see what they did there?).

This morning, a rowdy bunch of journalists gathered at Charing Cross Theatre to find out exactly how it works. After a festive mince pie and a glass of champagne, we took to our seats in the theatre where we were all given a tablet.

Our narrator – and shopping companion – the Fairy Godmother told us she needed our help in present buying before opening proceedings.

Mingled within the fairytale - amid many screams of “oh yes she did” and “it’s behind you” from us big kids in the crowd - Fairy Godmother crops up and tells us she needs to buy a present for the Ugly Sisters for example, and encourages us to grab our tablets and pick which out of a handful of suggested gifts we’d give to our sisters (ugly or not).

So it continued and by the end of the performance not only has Cinders nabbed herself a prince, but we’ve compiled our very-own Christmas shopping list.

Of course, I could wax lyrical about how “shop-tainment” is the future – many are touting interactive TV as the future with M&S launching an app for Samsung’s Smart TV – but ultimately this is just a bit of festive fun.

The question remains, however, how eBay is going to top this next Christmas. Carol singing down the high street wearing Google Glass?

Gemma Goldfingle is a senior reporter at Retail Week