Business Insider reports that eBay is going to buy Milo.com, a local product search site that gives consumers insight on what's in stock at nearby stores. For marketers, this acquisition speaks to the trend of local product searches, and it may be wise to move inventories online with search-optimized descriptions.
EBay reportedly paid $75 million in cash for Milo.com. The local product site offers consumers an intuitive search tool – they enter their location information and then choose from different product categories. Then, Milo.com offers results based on what is available in stores near them. Results can be filtered according to price, popularity and rating.
The purchase may have been inspired by Google's recent launch of Product Listing Ads for all businesses. Milo.com may be an effort to help eBay keep up with the search giant's product-focused ad units, which allow marketers to display their inventory to Google searchers while offering relevant content.
Plus, Google is rumored to be purchasing Groupon for as much as $6 billion. This indicates that local deal-finders are a hot commodity in the search world.
The takeaway for marketers may be that real-time inventory information is a valuable way to catch clicks from nearby shoppers. Those who want their merchandise to appear prominently in product search results must remember that relevancy is key, and images are an important part of product-related content.
Google asserts that Product Listing display ads perform better than straight-copy product ads. "We found that people are twice as likely to click on a Product Listing Ad as they are to click on a standard text ad in the same location," officials said.