Leena Rao tries to make sense of Ebay’s recent acquisitions:
t’s no secret that eBay has been heavily investing in a local commerce strategy. The central core of this is trying to capitalize on the $917 million online-to-offline buying market, which Forrester estimates will eventually reach $1.3 trillion (although this number seems low) and account for nearly 50% of total retail sales by 2013. Virtually every acquisition in the past year (besides the company’s $2.4 billion purchase of GSI Commerce) has been of a company that is dabbling in local payments or linking to merchants (Milo, RedLaser, Where, FigCard). If you look closely, a clear strategy is emerging that positions eBay at the center of mobile shopping, local commerce, and payments (through PayPal).
So let’s see, they’ve got payments, in-store comparison shopping, local mobile search traffic and real-time inventory. What do you think is next? I am guessing ReachLocal, Yodle or one of its competitors along with a SMB Facebook app company like Vitrue. Maybe a Daily Deal co?