Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce
- New version of ShopLocal to provide unmatched discovery, research, comparison capabilities for local in-store and online shopping -
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., and CHICAGO September 13, 2005 -- Endeca and ShopLocal announced today that the companies are working on significant advancements to the popular local shopping site, ShopLocal.com, to be launched in time for this year`s peak holiday shopping season. The new ShopLocal.com will differ dramatically from similar comparison and local shopping engines in two major ways. In addition to its current web-to-store approach, the new ShopLocal.com site will compile products and prices from local brick and mortar retail stores, as well as retailers` online stores -- offering a comprehensive view of what is on sale as well as for sale. The new site will also feature the Endeca InFront® commerce search, Guided Navigation® and merchandising engine, giving shoppers new, powerful ways to find and compare products by desirable criteria like retailer, brand, store location, price and more.
A joint venture of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), and Knight Ridder, Inc. (NYSE: KRI), ShopLocal offers local and national retailers the ability to expose their product offerings, sale items and overall selection to a wide audience of online shoppers via a single source. Shoppers simply select their location and ShopLocal couples the experience of showing products available in their local retail stores with select e-commerce offerings.
Endeca is the leading provider of Guided Navigation, search and analysis solutions, offering next-generation information access technology and services for websites, e-commerce storefronts, intranets, portals and enterprise applications.
This is the latest in a series of advances by ShopLocal, the 10th largest shopping comparison site (Source: comScore Media Metrix), to offer the best customer experience on the web. The new Endeca-powered search, navigation and merchandising features will provide shoppers with a wide variety of ways to look for, compare and purchase products. The search engine itself will support cutting-edge features like:
• Endeca`s patent-pending Guided Navigation, which allows long lists of search results to be quickly sorted and/or refined by attributes like brand, price range, retailer and more; Guided Navigation will also offer dynamic site navigation options, allowing products to exist in multiple places/categories and to be found in multiple ways.
• Search and navigation driven dynamic merchandising to complement search results and product listings by showcasing contextually relevant on-sale items, favorite picks, best sellers, related accessories and more.
• Spell correction/suggestion ("Did you mean?")
• Synonyms (notebook = laptop)
• Natural phrase recognition
Tapping these capabilities, shoppers using the new ShopLocal site will be able to research products from multiple, local retailers and web-based retailers in ways not possible on similar sites, and then purchase the most desirable products either online or offline.
"Sometimes shoppers are seeking a very specific item. Sometimes they are simply browsing opportunistically for deals. Or perhaps they are looking for a gift and start the process knowing the age, gender, size, tastes of the recipient, a price range and a list of desirable retailers," said Brian Hand, CEO of ShopLocal. "We want to accommodate for all of these real shopping behaviors -- offering the tools to both intuitively explore a wide selection and quickly find highly specific products. By teaming with Endeca and our retail partners, we can provide a compelling shopping experience that goes well beyond that of any other local shopping resource."
The Endeca InFront solution has become the e-commerce search engine of choice by the world`s best-known and most successful retailers. Powering the largest and most heavily trafficked online stores on the Web, Endeca InFront is used by more of the top 100 online retailers than all competing commercial solutions combined. Customers include North American retail giants like 1-800-Flowers.com, Barnes & Noble, Circuit City, CompUSA, Eddie Bauer, The Home Depot, Kmart, PETCO, Overstock.com, TJX, Walgreens and Walmart.com; leading UK merchants like Comet, Littlewoods, and Tesco; and major Dutch retailers Wehkamp and Bol.com.
"ShopLocal has a distinct advantage over any other local shopping engine due to its close relationship with its local retail partners and the related exposure to their in-store offerings," said Jim Baum, president and CEO of Endeca. "By adding a proven next-generation shopping engine like the Endeca InFront solution along with the ability to purchase on or offline, you have valuable, first-of-its-kind service that no competitive solution can match."
Endeca`s award-winning Guided Navigation, Enterprise Search, and Analysis solutions help organizations integrate, discover, and navigate enterprise data to solve business problems associated with information overload. Endeca`s customers include a wide range of enterprises, including retailers (Barnes & Noble, The Home Depot, Wal-Mart); financial services (Bank of America, MFS Investment Management, Putnam Investments); manufacturing and distribution (IBM, Arrow Electronics, and John Deere); media and publishing (World Book and IHS) and government (the Library of Congress, NASA, and the National Cancer Institute). Endeca is a private company headquartered in Cambridge, MA. More information: www.endeca.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ShopLocal is the leading provider of Web shopping services for retailers and other local businesses, helping them connect with millions of consumers who use the Internet each year to purchase products online as well as those who use it as a research tool for offline purchases. Retailers depend on ShopLocal`s SmartCircular and Smart Catalog services to distribute sales and promotional content through their own Web sites, offering a convenient and localized experience for their customers. The ShopLocal Network, consisting of ShopLocal.com and more than 200 leading media, search and shopping Web sites, provides retailers with access to a dynamic, geographically-based marketplace of ready-to-buy shoppers looking to purchase items from t-shirts to televisions, and food to furniture online or at a store near them. Retailers benefit from ShopLocal`s DataPoint services, the most complete Web-to-store tracking information available, providing retailers with the understanding necessary to make each Web-shopping effort more successful. Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB), and Knight Ridder, Inc. (NYSE:KRI), are partners in ShopLocal and other joint ventures to provide consumers online products such as CareerBuilder.com, Cars.com and Apartments.com.