EBay Inc. annouced that it has bought Milo a local shopping search engine which will help the e-commerce giant to bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping.
Milo software plug into the merchant’s inventory management system and enable to instantly keep tabs on all of the retailer’s products. Milo’s mission is to track every product on every U.S. store in real-time. Milo currently has 140 retail partners and is able deliver search results for some 3 million locally available products in about 52,000 stores across the U.S.
According to many blogs the deal price was around $75 million.
Though pointing customers towards neighborhood retailers might seem in conflict with eBay’s online marketplace, however Ebay is convinced that Milo technology is complementary to it because it will enable eBay to provide shoppers with up real-time information about products that are available in local stores.
The point highlighted by Ebay spokesperson is that shoppers might one day be able to find and purchase a product on eBay, and receive almost instant gratification by driving to a nearby store to pick up the item. The reason is that many consumers blend their online and off-line shopping practices–some might prefer to try on clothes in stores and then purchase them online, while others might scour product reviews and search for the lowest price online before heading out to the mall.
This seems like an idea of EBay taking steps to bridge online commerce with physical retail.
EBay handled more than 2 billion U.S. product searches in the third quarter, compared with Amazon at 847 million and Google Inc. (GOOG) with 226 million product searches as per the data from research group comScore.