By the Blouin News Technology staff

Is Yahoo spreading itself too thin?

by in Media Tech.

Snapshot of Lexity homepage

Snapshot of Lexity homepage

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.