Though it launched late last year, I wasn’t aware of new local shopping engine Milo until someone made reference to it in a comment on this blog. I then contacted Milo and spoke with CEO Jack Abraham about the full range of questions that arise with a site trying to offer local inventory information: where the data come from, business model, syndication, mobile and so on.
I agreed not to share a chunk of what we discussed but here are some facts from the site and provided by Abraham:
- Milo has real-time local inventory for 1.45M products. Abraham says that by comparison Krillion has inventory data for 38,000 products.
- Milo covers most major retailers and features both hard goods and soft goods on the site.
- Milo is venture and angel backed by some of the people behind Yelp, Topix, Trulia, Eventbrite, Facebook and YouTube among others.
- As of October 12, “we are on track to do 600k uniques a month, up from 300k on 10/2 and 100k just two months ago. The site is growing very, very fast.”
Milo appears to be a very serious contender in the local-inventory segment, especially as NearbyNow focuses increasingly on mobile and ShopLocal transitions to a marketing services platform for retailers. Krillion is still very much there. Channel Intelligence is too but on a limited basis. Not sure where Shopatron and Where2GetIt are in terms of their local inventory efforts. It’s been a little while since I’ve spoken to either.
To test out the user experience on Milo — which I’m guessing comes from something like “fetch, Milo” — I performed a few searches for stereos and sandals, both of which I’m actually looking for:
One additional feature of the site that is useful is the ability to search inventory by individual stores:
Milo aspires to be a compelling shopping destination (rather than simply a data source) and has a mobile strategy lined up. The barriers to entry in the local inventory segment are considerable and greater than e-commerce by a mile — or “last mile,” as the case may be.
TheFind is a destination with local inventory information; however Abraham contends Milo has many more local products than TheFind. There’s also e-commerce on Milo; however that element is de-emphasized at the moment.
Overall the site offers a solid experience though it can evolve further to be sure. You should try it yourself and tell me what you think.