December 17, 2014

In another ecommerce merger, Snapdeal acquires Wishpicker

As ecommerce demand and consumership rises around the globe, mergers and acquisitions are diversifying capabilities for online retailers, with innovative new ways to help customers select items to purchase. Earlier this week, we reported about the merger of and Clothes Horse, two online fitting room solutions that will combine technology to strengthen service offerings. Another merger in the online retail industry that could make waves is Snapdeal's acquisition of Wishpicker. 

Snapdeal has established itself as one of the biggest players in India's ecommerce market place, offering goods across diverse product categories. Currently, it hosts Dootzon, a site that allows users to discover fashion products based on taste and viewing habits. For that reason, Wishpicker makes a clear target property: The site is programmed to link customers with recommendations for gift purchases. 

Both the Snapdeal and mergers highlight the ecommerce trend toward helping customers select items before they add them to shopping carts. In 2015, it will no longer be enough to provide a catalog of inventory and allow customers to browse aimlessly. Tech mergers are driving the industry in the direction of virtual sales associates, with tech platforms providing advice and visualizations to customers navigating their next ecommerce purchase. Wishpicker uses social media preferences and a brief questionnaire about the occasion to connect shoppers with the best gifts. 

"We believe that with consumer buying trends evolving, intelligent recommendations will be one of the key drivers for business volume for our sellers," said Snapdeal co-founder Rohit Bansal. "This is an important acquisition for us in terms of adding technology capabilities and helping sellers connect with buyers in newer ways."

India represents one of the most rapidly expanding areas of ecommerce around the world. In the next five years, experts project the marketplace will increase from $10 billion to $43 billion, according to TechCrunch.