May 12, 2011, 1:05 PM

TheFind retailers can be upfront with mobile and web shoppers on how they do business

“Upfront Merchant” badge in search results signals agreement to retailing principles.

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Comparison shopping engine TheFind connects consumers with information on items from more than 500,000 merchants. Many times a consumer has never heard of a merchant whose product price is being compared to that of big-name brands. And that may give a consumer pause. So TheFind has created a type of certification called Upfront to lend credibility to lesser-known retailers.

Upfront places a badge that says “Upfront Merchant” next to merchant names in mobile and web search results that lets consumers know that the retailer has agreed to five principles designed by TheFind to help assure shoppers that the merchant conducts business in an efficient and secure manner.

Clicking on a badge in TheFind’s mobile app, mobile site or web site sends a shopper to a page that lists the principles. They state that a retailer will:

  • Explain its returns policy clearly on its web site.
  • Make every effort to ship orders on time.
  • Handle online payments securely.
  • Inform shoppers how to reach customer service and work to resolve any issues.
  • Keep customer information private and confidential.

“This is a set of promises. These retailers clearly say they will stand behind these promises they are making,” says Siva V. Kumar, CEO of TheFind. “Maybe you haven’t heard of a retailer, but it’s saying it’s willing to stand behind its store. So we extend these promises throughout search results so a consumer can see a merchant has been certified.”

Consumers perform 12 million searches per month via TheFind’s mobile app and mobile site, the company reports, and 48 million on its web site.

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