eBay’s Local Shopping Experts Discuss New Local Initiatives

eBay Inc. Staff

eBay.com’s newly added local shopping features will drive innovation and blur lines between online and offline commerce.

At March’s Web 2.0 Expo, eBay Inc. announced the first major integration of local inventory onto eBay.com. Powered by Milo, the leading local shopping engine that eBay Inc. acquired last year, eBay.com now offers consumers a one-stop destination for deals, both online and in stores nearby. Through Milo integration, consumers have even more choice now, with access to millions of products from approximately 50,000 stores across all 50 states in the U.S.

By opting in, eBay shoppers can now use a new local shopping tab to check a product's local, or in-store, availability directly from the eBay search results page. In addition, product pages for several product categories include a local shopping tab so shoppers can find the exact product they want, whether it's online or at a local retailer near them.

To further clarify eBay’s local shopping initiatives, Dane Glasgow, eBay’s Vice President of Global Product Management, Jack Abraham, Director of Local at eBay Inc. and Founder of Milo, and Shan Vosseller, Director of Product Management for Electronics and Local participated in a Q&A. Following are excerpts from the interview.

“There is a really interesting thing happening in retail,” said Glasgow. “We’re seeing a convergence of behavior that has traditionally been only online with behavior that is traditionally offline.”

Glasgow noted that increased mobile device usage is helping to advance this trend. “Mobile devices fall right at the intersection of online and offline behavior,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why we quickly sought to integrate Milo’s local shopping features with our RedLaser barcode scanning mobile application, so that people can shop locally from mobile devices, and comparison shop.”

Vosseller added that many new product categories on eBay.com will include local shopping options, beginning immediately.  “We’re investing in expanding the categories that we have covered for local shopping on eBay, and that will help deliver the best experience for customers no matter what products they are interested in,” he said.

As Jack Abraham founded and grew Milo prior to eBay Inc.’s acquisition of it, he worked with many retailers to bring their inventory online, and is still involved with bringing retailers’ inventory onto eBay.com.

“Retailers have been thrilled with the local shopping features on eBay, which really help drive more people into their stores to buy products,” Abraham said. “Retailers know that, increasingly, consumers are turning to the Internet to research and buy products. Traditional forms of reaching the consumer, such as Sunday circulars and old media, aren’t converting the way they used to. For retailers to remain relevant, they need to be present in the online spaces where consumers are making purchasing decisions.”

“You can find out more about eBay’s local shopping features, and opt-in to try them, at http://www.ebay.com/local.