Yahoo announced on Wednesday that it is buying internet commerce company Lexity. Lexity provides analytics to e-commerce sites along with solutions for increasing purchases and building customized apps.
Yahoo has said the purchase will help with its business-to-business products, otherwise known as Yahoo! Small Business. Yahoo’s small-business solutions offer web hosting and payment-support packages. The Lexity app will continue to operate seamlessly with the customers it already has as Yahoo integrates it.
Lexity is a departure from Yahoo’s major acquisitions in the past year, which have focused on user experience. Yahoo acquired blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion on June 20. It also bought news summarization service Summly for $30 million on March 25. No shock there: Marissa Mayer has said many times since she took the CEO role in July that she wants the new Yahoo to focus on user experience. Her exact words: “daily habits–news, sports, games, finance, search, mail, answers, groups–these are all things we have been underinvested in.”
So why Lexity? Some say mobile is a common thread in all of these acquisitions, which Mayer has declared to be an area of intense strategic focus. (Tumblr is the best platform for blogging on-the-go; Summly is primarily a mobile newsreading app.) Under that schema, Lexity makes sense because of its focus on mobile: it has many apps for business owners to give them real-time information about their online stories, including live tracking of customer locations and browsing habits.
But mobile is a broad area; indeed, soon enough declaring a focus on mobile will be similar to declaring a focus on the internet. For a turnaround strategy, a niche can be essential. For Yahoo that niche could be small business owners, who will use those daily habit products Meyer cited as part of their e-commerce bundles.