The “local shopping” segment is starting to heat up with NearbyNow, ShopLocal, Yokel, Become, CNET and Froogle (and soon newspapers) offering some version of local, offline shopping data and inventory information.
More on Yokel from a release issued today:
Yokel, Inc. today announced it has expanded its capabilities to offer shoppers in the San Francisco Bay area the most complete local shopping search results, making it easier to find the products they need at a store closest to them. Yokel, a national online shopping search engine, now includes an expanded number of Bay area retailers ranging from large chain stores to small local stores and “Best of the Bay” award winners.
As I’ve said many many times before, this is what consumers want and it completes the comparison shopping value proposition. (There are business model challenges, which certainly are not insurmoutable.)
The “local” information is challenging and difficult to get but incredibly valuable once you get it. I suspect NearbyNow or someone else will be syndicating or licensing this content (StepUp is doing a version of this with about 5,000+ local retailers today) relatively soon (in the same way that’s now happening with user reviews).