With the WowBaby deal, the Melbourne company racing to assemble a bouquet of ecommerce sites enters a third major retail category, adding to homewares and home electronics.
Last month, Shoply acquired Your Home Depot, a 35-year-old NSW company with a significant online business, for $2.85 million in cash. It already owns and runs EzyDirect, a seller of office technologies; and electronics retailers Ohki and Eljo.
Mobile-ready tech a big plus
“The purchase of WowBaby represents another step in our growth strategy. WowBaby also provides the opportunity to further test our operating platform and its ability to integrate acquisitions, and enter new market segments quickly,” said Shoply CEO Simon Crean.
Shoply did not say what it was paying for WowBaby but, said the deal would include WowBaby assets including the brand, software platform and code, selected third party relationships and contracts, and a small customer database.
A key part of the acquisition is WowBaby’s mobile-ready technology, which will help Shoply instantly tap time-starved parents shopping on mobile devices.
“WowBaby’s technology is also at the vanguard of home shopping with mobile accessibility,” said Shoply Director and serial digital entrepreneur Dominic Carosa. “Our next run of acquisitions will add to our evolving portfolio of targeted verticals with digital assets and backend capabilities that streamline efficiency and delivery.”
Over the past year, Shoply has not only acquired ecommerce companies but also picked up top-level domain names in order to leverage its online properties on search engines and the like. One such domain it bought last month is Toystore. Shoply now says it will launch this domain later this year to vertically expand in the online Recreational Goods Category, with WowBaby as a key component.
Citing stats from IBISWorld, Shoply believes Australia’s online baby products market is worth $315 million, growing at an annual rate of 22 per cent.