Online shopping giant, eBay, has begun integrating local product inventory technology into its search options, seen by analysts as a way to boost sales for local retailers and help small businesses grow. The technology comes from Milo, a company eBay bought last December, and will add local results in its barcode scanning apps, its RedLaser app for iPhone and Android, and the GiftsNearby feature, as a shopping tool for consumers to find gift options available for pickup at local retailers in their neighborhood.
Milo’s local availability results will show eBay shoppers what stores in their neighborhood have a desired item in stock, and costs at each location. Milo currently provides access to millions of products from approximately 50,000 stores across all 50 states. eBay shoppers will have the choice to opt-in to a feature that will include a local shopping tab in the search results, to check a product’s local, or in-store availability directly from the eBay search results page. For now, the local search feature has been integrated with eBay Garden, but will be extended to other search portals in the near future.
In addition, eBay, is providing retailers who use QuickBooks a way to upload their inventory onto Milo and eBay, through a new inventory management plug-in, making it a lot easier for retailers to integrate their offline merchandise onto Milo and eBay. For eBay, local appears to be one of the key strategies that will drive the ecommerce company in the future. Forrester estimates that online research to offline buying is a $917 billion market that will eventually reach $1.3 trillion, and account for nearly 50 percent of total retail sales by 2013. eBay wants to get in on this revenue source.