Yell has bought DIY website and online shop builder Moonfruit for £18m as part of its ongoing strategy to become a leading provider of local eMarketplaces.
Yell, the digital services company, aims to build new strength through platforms and digital portals where consumers can do business with small and medium-sized companies. The strategy is intended to replace its current business in online and print telephone directories, now a declining market.
Today Yell said its acquisition of Moonfruit would enhance its ability to provide “cutting-edge websites, mobile sites and simple ‘light’ commerce services to millions of SMEs.”
Its chief executive Mike Pocock said: “The addition of Moonfruit’s services and team helps us provide competitive advantage to our global SME customers in connecting with customers through digital, mobile and social.”
Wendy Tan-White, founder and chief executive officer of Moonfruit, said: “We built Moonfruit to make it easy to publish and sell on the internet, and provide stylish web, blog and shop designs as well as easy-to-use web tools for SMEs. Joining Yell and integrating with its local eMarketplace provides access to larger audiences and additional resource to accelerate what is a common vision for the future.”
Moonfruit.com was launched in 2000 for consumers and businesses to build their own sites. Customers building Moonfruit sites can add a commerce option, Facebook stores, and a mobile presence from the same platform. So far nearly 5m websites and 230,000 online shops have been created, most in the UK and US. Key members of Moonfruit’s senior management team will stay with the business for at least two years.
Last year Yell bought multi-store ecommerce specialist Znode to provide SMEs with enterprise opportunities through its ecommerce platform, and it says today’s acquisition will complement that capability.
This week Yell also launched a series of infographics aimed at informing SMEs about the benefits of ecommerce. Based on its own research, this infographic, Your website is your cash register, shows women spent £10 more than men last month, and that online shoppers’ key concerns are free delivery, price guarantees and clear payment options.