Winston-Salem, N.C. - The Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG) has begun providing Milo's local store locator and shopping service to member dealers at no charge.
Milo Local Shopping, a subsidiary of eBay, allows consumers to search for locally available products online and through their mobile devices.
The platform syncs with merchants' point-of-sale (POS) systems to provide shoppers with real-time inventory availability and pricing information within a select geographic area. Customers can then make purchases with one click for pick up at their local store, giving retailers additional attachment-sale opportunities.
Making Milo available to Nationwide dealers had been a goal of Jeannette Howe, executive director of the group's Specialty Electronics Nationwide (SEN) division, who said the platform could help level the playing field between physical and online-only retailers.
Nationwide presented Milo to its members at last month's PrimeTime! convention and buy fair in Orlando, Fla., where the shopping service had an exhibit booth.
"Research has found that shoppers like spending money at local stores," said Milo senior marketing manager Michael Blais. "The partnership we have formed with Nationwide will make it easier for the independent retailer to be discovered by those shoppers and increase their online presence."
Blais said dealers can sync their compatible POS systems to Milo with free downloadable software that will upload their inventory in real-time for access by local shoppers.
eBay president/CEO John Donahoe, in his
at January's Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Leaders In Technology dinner during 2012 International CES, noted that the Milo mobile app, along with other eBay retail services, is enabling brick-and-mortar merchants to compete with e-tailers as the smartphone continues "blurring the line between e-commerce and retail."
Nationwide's Milo program follows a recently-forged
between eBay and the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group), which will give the buying group's specialty A/V dealers a storefront presence on the e-commerce platform.
Over the past several years Nationwide has forged partnerships with other website development companies, including Ayr1.com, Tailbase, Site on Time and, most recently, FurnitureDealer.net.