EBay has gone shopping again. This time it's buying a little company called Where. Where is a location-based software company that develops apps for all the major platforms.
This is just the latest in a string of companies that EBay has gobbled up recently either directly or indirectly.
Let's review EBay's other acquisitions:
- Milo, known for its technology that enables mobile apps to show locally available products.
- GSI Commerce, an interactive marketing and ecommerce company
- RedLaser, known for its barcode scanning app technology
- Local Ginger, a "daily deals" coupon site now known as WhereBuys since it was bought up by Where. EBay gets Local Ginger in the Where deal, obviously.
So, what's going on? EBay is clearly buying up talent and technology to move beyond online shopping. Virtual bricks and mortar don't cut it anymore. Online and Offline shopping are intersecting as shoppers are increasingly preferring to browse bricks and mortar stores in their communities armed with mobile devices.
Actually browsing is a bad way to put it. Quite the opposite, in fact; offline shoppers are increasingly wanting the power to make surgical strikes in their neighborhood stores. They want mobile apps to help them comparison price shop and pinpoint inventory tailored to their wants and needs.
If you look at the list above, clearly EBay gets it.