To further develop its e-commerce segment, and to be specific, Google Shopping; Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) GOOG +1.03% recently announced its acquisition of Rangespan. UK based Rangespan is a provider of back office services which are vital for online retailers. It uses cutting edge data science to help online and brick and mortar retailers expand product selection by analyzing real time sales data.
The data analytics company Rangespan built software that allows retailers and e-Commerce based suppliers to analyze their market data and help them decide which products to add to their inventory and/or which products to drop from their shelves. So far, it has implemented various solutions based on its core technology with top notch retailers in the United Kingdom such as Tesco, Argos, and Asda.
Neither Google or Rangespan spokespersons disclosed the terms of the deal. However, Ryan Regan, the founder of Rangespan, told TechCrunch that his company’s service will cease to exist and it will be integrated into Google. “Some of us, including me, are moving over to join Google,” he said. He further commented that “there are a lot of parallels between what we are doing and what Google is doing and we are excited to work together.” The acquisition will not only allow Google to get its hands on Rangespan’s technology, but it also effectively means that Google will be adding some data science industry veterans to its Zurich office. Founder Ryan Regan, co-founder Matt Henderson, technical director James Summerfield, and data science director Jurgen Van Gael are likely to join Google to continue the project.
The acquisition will directly help Google’s online shopping business, Google Shopping, which allows online shoppers to buy from a range of “local retailers” and get home delivery via its “Google Shopping Express” service. Large scale nationwide retailers such as Costco, Staples, American Eagle, and Office Depot are already selling via Google Shopping, where Google provides shoppers a one-stop interface to buy from the nearest participating store that will deliver the goods within the same day. This is more like the Home delivery service that Amazon provides.
The acquisition of Rangespan will attract these retailers to participate in Google Shopping, as Google will likely offer real time sales analysis to their retailers, either free (more likely) or for a small fee. Such data science additions and capabilites will provide Google Shopping participating retailers with an added competitive advantage against their local competitors, namely mom and pop stores.