What's behind Yahoo's move into marketplaces?
Tim Clark, senior analyst, Jupiter Research
The Internet portal is turning its business strategy toward IT professionals. According to research company Gartner, the volume of nonfinancial goods and services sold via business-to-business e-commerce is expected to reach $7.3 trillion by 2004.
The move follows a decision by VerticalNet to drop a similar online marketplace targeting the IT professionals market and focus its attention on licensing business-to-business software. The e-commerce company continues to run marketplaces in the food and solid-waste industries.
Yahoo said it is launching its marketplaces for IT professionals that already use its search service to find IT news, research and products online.
"Highly focused business destinations around key areas such as hardware, software and electronics are the next logical step for us to...add more depth to our business services," Shannon Ledger, general manager of production at Yahoo, said in a statement.
The Electronics Marketplace is intended to help business users locate product information, do research on sellers and buyers of specific components, and keep track of news and market trends. The site will be co-branded with USBid, an e-commerce procurement provider for the electronics-component sourcing community.
The IT Software Marketplace provides people with tools to research and compare software products and to get information on upcoming industry trade shows and seminars. The site also includes information and services from syndicated-professional literature provider Bitpipe and editorial content from IDG.
The IT Hardware Marketplace is a Web site for people to research and find hardware information and purchase items from manufacturers. The marketplace also includes resources provided by IDG and Bitpipe.