June 15, 2001, 12:00 AM

New idea for product searching brings in customers, sales, Switchboard says

Switchboard Inc. surveys have found that a majority of people who do product searches through its Nearbuy Merchandising service are ready and willing to spend at local stores.

The return on investment for participating merchants in Westboro, Mass.-based Switchboard Inc.’s Nearbuy Merchanding service is that they acquire local customers who would not have come into the store otherwise. “We’re bringing sales into the store because these are people who are out and ready to shop,” says Luke O’Brien, vice president of marketing and merchandising services. Switchboard’s surveys of Nearbuy Merchandising users show that 89% of consumers who search for something said they’d buy the product immediately after finding it in local store. O’Brien says for the $49 per month retailers pay, incremental sales from the product locator service can return from 20 to 40 times that much.

 

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