eBay has acquired an inventory-tracking site that helps buyers find locally the items they're looking for online.
eBay reportedly paid $75 million for Milo.com, a site that tracks the inventory of more than 52,000 stores around the country. Milo partners with 140 retailers, including 90 small and mid-sized businesses, to show shoppers where in their area they can find the items they're looking for and how much they'll pay for the desired product.
Milo's site describes the company as "building a bridge between online and in-store commerce that empowers the consumer to access the best of both shopping worlds—all in one place."
eBay says the acquisition will give buyers more inventory to choose from and could help sellers reach a new audience.
"Local commerce companies like Milo are blurring the lines between in-store and online shopping," says Mark Carges, eBay Marketplaces' chief technology officer and senior vice president of Global Products. "By making accurate, real-time, local store inventory and pricing available to online and mobile shoppers, we see a huge opportunity for local retailers, small businesses and eBay sellers to reach more buyers, and for consumers to make more informed buying decisions."
eBay will integrate product feeds from Milo into both its online marketplace and RedLaser, a barcode-scanning mobile app that allows shoppers to compare prices for the items they're shopping for.
Adding inventory from brick-and-mortar shops is "a natural extension" for eBay since the online marketplace does not compete with physical stores, Carges continues. After all, he says, eBay's goal is to bring "buyers and sellers together to access the largest selection available anywhere."
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.