TheFind Introduces Local Shopping

Innovative “Web 2.0” shopping site TheFind has introduced local shopping today on its site. According to the press release, the site’s new capabilities include:

  • Search for products available through local retail outlets. For example, a search for UGG boots in and around Miami would show store locations that are within 25 miles of the shopper’s location. Consumers can easily adjust the search area to comprise a 40- or 50-mile radius, if desired.
  • Immediately identify local retail outlets near you that carry desired items. After searching for a product on TheFind, search results will display items from both online retailers and local retail outlets – with local stores clearly identified via a “Local” icon.
  • Check in-store availability. For select outlets supporting this capability, TheFind enables shoppers to see which nearby stores have a particular item in-stock. Additionally, all listings for local retailers have phone numbers listed so busy shoppers can call to check in-stock status.
  • Quickly and easily determine which retail outlets offering the desired items are closest in proximity. For every search, TheFind graphically maps all the local brick and mortar stores carrying the items of interest. Consumers can use the map to determine which location is the closest to them, saving time and resources. The site also provides street addresses and phone numbers for each store location.
  • Compare each store’s offerings and obtain the very best deal. TheFind puts a wealth of information at users’ fingertips to enable shoppers to assess the total overall cost of goods. TheFind alerts shoppers to various considerations such as sale items and promotions and driving distance of retail outlets, so they can make purchasing decisions based on their individual preferences and criteria. Integration of online prices and local offers helps consumers determine the best possible options.

Here’s an example of the new functionality in action based on a search for “All Clad Pots” (click to enlarge images):

pots

And when you mouse over one of the product images:

Find2

TheFind is doing this by crawling and matching products on retailer websites with store location and contact information. Accordingly the site recommends “call for availability.” It’s a impressive implementation.

As local inventory data starts to become syndicated in 2008 and these capabilities become more widespread, they threaten e-tailers and those who sell without local stores (with the exception of eBay and Amazon). As I’ve argued all shopping sites will need to have local store information/inventory to compete. Notwithstanding the growth of e-commerce, the Internet is fundamentally a marketing platform to consumers who fulfill offlline rather than a transactions platform.

Remember than e-commerce is roughly 4% of total US retail.

Functionality like “buy online, pick up in store,” which is becoming increasingly common (though the province of major retailers), is a kind of hybrid between local shopping and e-commerce.

In addition to TheFind, the local shopping club includes:

  • ShopLocal
  • NearbyNow (soon to become a consumer destination)
  • Krillion
  • Where2GetIt
  • StepUp (via Google)
  • Yokel
  • CNET
  • BrandHabit
  • GPShopper (mobile)

Shopping.com is on deck presumably with a recently announced deal with Channel Intelligence.

___

In an interview with InternetRetailer, JCPenney noted that 80% of its shoppers had visited the company’s site before showing up in the store.

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9 Responses to “TheFind Introduces Local Shopping”

  1. Why Local Search Ruled the World Last Week » Small Business SEM Says:

    […] Sterling: TheFind Introduces Local Shopping Ages ago, I wrote about real-time inventory being the “killer app” for local search. […]

  2. UGG: Local Always Trumps E-Commerce « Screenwerk Says:

    […] the inventory feeds or proxy information were more widely available this online-offline/multi-channel behavior would become even more […]

  3. Some Predictions for 2008 « Screenwerk Says:

    […] more common and widely proliferated. Some of this will come from new, independent efforts such as TheFind’s. But much of this will come from content and data syndication from the likes of NearbyNow, […]

  4. TheFind Taps Krillion for Local Product Data « Screenwerk Says:

    […] a user can check a “loc” box and see inventory carried in local stores. TheFind has created this feature by crawling and matching store locations with online inventory (asking users to call stores to confirm product availability). But now users can also “check […]

  5. RFID and the Future of Local Inventory « Screenwerk Says:

    […] is also presenting itself as a “powered by” turnkey option. Both engines offer some local store inventory information. (TheFind also recently did a deal with […]

  6. Alex Says:

    A “line of control” box and see inventory carried in local stores. the find has created this feature by crawling and matching store locations with online inventory.

  7. Greg Sterling Says:

    It’s no longer just crawling. They’re also getting feeds from NearbyNow.

  8. chris ericksen Says:

    i am looking for a retail store that carries Ugg women’s boots in the Syracuse, New York area please let me know ASAP thanks

  9. UGG: Local Always Trumps E-Commerce Says:

    […] the inventory feeds or proxy information were more widely available this online-offline/multi-channel behavior would become even more […]

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