Why eBay's SalesPredict Acquisition is Important
Ebay isn't just going to sit there and let other tech giants have all the fun with AI and machine learning.
The marketplace, which in May 2016 acquired artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics company Expertmaker, is reportedly acquiring SalesPredict, a "learning engine" that uses order history to suggest new items shoppers might want to buy. That should provide sellers with more information on the value of items and increase conversions (sales).
“SalesPredict’s deep expertise in predictive analytics and machine learning will contribute to eBay’s structured data efforts," said Vice President and General Manager of Structured Data at eBay Amit Menipaz. "For our buyers, it will help us better understand the price differentiating attributes of our products, and, for our sellers, it will help us build out the predictive models that can define the probability of selling a given product, at a given price over time.”
The acquisition really puts eBay in a position to compete with Amazon more directly. It's somewhat odd that eBay hasn't had a comparable technology in place before, but better late than never.