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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2515 - April 06, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 5

eBay and Google Vie for Local-Shopping Search Dominance

By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com
April 06, 2011




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Google has expanded its Local Product Availability feature on Google Place Pages after eBay recently launched a similar feature on its site called Local Shopping, powered by Milo, which it acquired last year. The two Internet giants want consumers to shop their respective websites when looking for products that are available at their local brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Google first launched a local shopping feature on mobile and in product extension ads in March of last year, working with a small group of retail partners. In November, it expanded the feature to Google Product Search on the desktop.

But Google and eBay's local product search results bring back results from large retail chains, such as Barnes & Noble, the Home Depot and Target. This month, both companies are expanding their reach to smaller brick-and-mortar retailers.

eBay announced on Friday that smaller retailers could upload their inventory onto Milo and eBay using a new inventory management plug-in for QuickBooks.

On Tuesday, Google announced it was bringing Local Product Availability to Google Place Pages, allowing retailers to automatically bring their offline catalog to the web. Retailers must share local availability data with Google through a Merchant Center account and claim their Google Place page - details are found in this Google announcement.

Amazon.com, meanwhile, does not appear to have a local shopping feature as such. Rather, it aims to use its distribution and logistics capabilities to shorten online-shopping delivery time to appease consumers' need for instant gratification, and has experimented with same-day delivery in some locations.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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