If you're not feeling generally secure in your e-commerce initiatives, GSI Commerce aims to help. The company provides e-commerce services such as website development and maintenance, order fulfillment, payment processing, and customer service. Its digital advertising offerings include brand development and e-mail marketing services. The company serves hundreds of companies and brands in markets such as retail, consumer goods manufacturing, and media. In 2011, GSI was acquired by auction powerhouse eBay. Under the terms of the deal, eBay divested GSI's RueLaLa unit (online private sales business) and 70% of its ShopRunner operations (provides members-only online shopping and shipping services).
Change in Company Type
eBay bought GSI in a cash-and-debt deal valued at about $2.4 billion. GSI views the deal as a win/win scenario, one that significantly extended its product reach and client base across the globe as it combines its operations with eBay Marketplaces and PayPal. It also enabled eBay to gain new ground against Amazon.com, a chief rival it has in common with GSI. As part of the deal, GSI also divested its licensed sports-merchandise business (provides e-commerce operations for MLB, NFL, NBA, among other leagues). eBay sold those operations -- along with RueLaLa and Shoprunner -- to a holding company managed by Michael Rubin, GSI's founder and former CEO. GSI now operates as a separate business unit under eBay.
GSI is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and has major service offices in New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona, London, and Beijing.
The company is focusing on China for international growth. In 2012, it partnered with Fireswirl Technologies, a provider of electronic and mobile commerce services in China, to enable GSI's e-commerce services in that country.
GSI typically earns revenues from selling products through its clients' e-commerce businesses, as well as through Web stores in its consumer engagement segment. It also earns service fees through the development and operation of its clients' e-commerce businesses, and through service fees from providing interactive marketing services. GSI's growth strategy remains simple: As its clients' e-commerce businesses grow, so does its own.
Mergers and Acquisitions
GSI has a history of seeking out new acquisitions and partners in order to enhance its offerings. In 2011 the company acquired Fanatics, a Florida-based company that operates more than 250 e-commerce websites, including footballfanatics.com, as well as some 60 e-commerce stores for collegiate and professional sports partners and media organizations.
The previous year GSI snatched up VendorNet, a Florida-based supply chain solutions provider catering to more than 100 retailers and marketers. The deal strengthened GSI's ability to offer e-commerce products and services through multichannels. The company boosted its marketing segment through the 2009 purchases of Silverlign, a San Francisco Bay Area interactive agency, and Pepperjam, an affiliate marketing network. Its international presence was enhanced through the buyout of e-Dialog, a provider of e-mail marketing services for companies in the US and Europe, in 2008. – less