Late last week I spoke with Milo CEO Jack Abraham. He and I discussed the company’s efforts to move beyond major retailers and big boxes into SMB inventory. He acknowledged that this was a very long-term play and fraught with complexity because of differing inventory systems — or their complete absence — at the SMB level.
Earlier I had this same conversation with the folks at Clarinova.
Abraham said that the company currently had slightly more than 100 small retailers that it was working with in a variety of ways to get the data. He declined to elaborate on specifics. On the company’s site a “paw” icon represents a small retailer:
Other firms that provide local inventory data to varying degrees of comprehensiveness include Krillion and NearbyNow (still in the game).
Google of course recently announced that it would be working with retailers directly to provide this information to consumers online and on the go. A few years ago Google was working with StepUp (now part of Intuit) and ShopLocal to provide similar information but abandoned the effort because the data were uneven. Google’s effort can only boost the value of Milo and Krillion, as other e-commerce sites try to add local inventory information.
Milo has said also that it will be syndicating its data to third party sites.