Local Shopping Search Engine Provides Internet Users with the Most Complete Directory of Products from Local Retailers
BOSTON, May 10 -- Yokel, Inc. today officially launched, unveiling the beta version of its flagship site http://www.yokel.com/, a new local shopping search engine that makes `shopping in the neighborhood` easier and more productive than ever before. Yokel helps shoppers quickly find products they need in the town or city closest to them. The site provides a comprehensive store and product directory in a wide range of popular categories including home and garden, consumer electronics, computers, apparel, children`s items, sporting goods, and appliances.
On http://www.yokel.com/, shoppers simply enter a product name (such as "Maytag dishwasher" or "HLR5667W") and city or zip code. Yokel queries its database and displays matching product results from local stores, which can be sorted by relevance or by distance, with the closest stores first. For each store, Yokel displays an address, phone number, map, and product listing. Because the site includes many stores that may carry the same product, shoppers can research, compare prices and save money.
Although consumers increasingly use the Internet to research products, they still conduct the majority of their purchases at local retailers. Forrester Research estimated that in 2005 more than 40 million consumers researched a product online and purchased it offline, resulting in $125 billion in local purchases.
"Our research shows that consumers are increasingly using Internet resources, including vertical search engines, to research products online before buying offline from a local merchant," said Matt Booth, vice president and program director, interactive local media for The Kelsey Group. "A vertical approach -- like Yokel`s, which enables shoppers to research local product availability prior to purchasing offline -- yields a smaller and more relevant data set, for a more productive consumer experience."
National Reach with Local Focus
http://www.yokel.com/ delivers the most comprehensive information for local shopping on the Internet today. Yokel`s database is expanded daily and contains familiar national and regional chains plus a growing number of small, local retailers. With the launch of the service, the company is also announcing its first city-centric site, boston.yokel.com. This site features listings from local stores who may have limited or no Internet presence, as well as national chains. Yokel plans to launch similar sites in the top cities throughout the country within the next year.
"The Internet has changed the way millions of people shop. Yet, despite the fact that the most purchases still occur locally, there are surprisingly few resources to help shoppers find products at local stores. Yokel is designed to fill this need," said Scott Randall, Yokel, Inc., CEO.
The Way Yokel Works
Unlike general search engines, whose algorithms have to work across a wide variety of non-shopping queries, Yokel has developed patent-pending technology that is tailored for local shopping. The company compiles its data from a variety of sources to create the most complete and accurate database of local stores and products. Unique and better data, combined with a proprietary algorithm, leads to more relevant search results.
Yokel`s service is free to consumers and free for retailers to list products. The company currently generates revenue by displaying sponsored pay-per-click advertising in the right hand column of each search results page.
Yokel was founded by Internet entrepreneurs and high tech visionaries Scott Randall and Don Zereski. Scott was previously CEO of FairMarket, an online auction company that he founded and led through a successful IPO. Prior to FairMarket, he was president of Yahoo! Marketplace. Most recently, Don was vice president of products for Lycos, and prior to that served as Tripod`s vice president of technology.
About Yokel, Inc.
Based in Boston, Mass., Yokel, Inc. is a search engine that makes local shopping easier than ever before. With one of the most comprehensive Internet directories of stores and products, Yokel enables shoppers to quickly find what they are looking for at stores nearest to them. Yokel is financed by Boston Capital Ventures, Startup Florida, and angel investors from Launchpad and Walnut Ventures. For more information, please visit http://www.yokel.com/.