ShopLocal has made the news twice this week with two major players taking on their virtual circular technology. Facebook and MSN have both begun incorporating ShopLocal apps into their systems in order to bring localized deals to the consumer.
On Facebook, ShopLocal is integrating local sales circulars into corporate fan pages. When a user visits a brand site on Facebook, the application looks at their profile to determine their geographic area then presents the proper circular for their city. Vikram Sharma, CEO of ShopLocal says;
“We know that 49 percent of visitors to corporate fan pages go there to gain information on sales and special offers and another 45 percent come to learn about products. ShopLocal’s toolkit helps retailers across the country capitalize on this social shopping phenomenon.”
ShopLocal already has some big names using their app including CVS, JCPenney, Michaels and Office Depot.
In addition to presenting localized deals, ShopLocal’s marketing suite has a Product Deal Tab that displays popular products based on profile information including gender. It also allows the user to “share” or “like” a deal, adding that recommendation component that helps boost product sales. They also offer suite customization so the application looks and responds just like the brand’s current Facebook page.
MSN is using the same technology from ShopLocal for their Local Edition homepages. When you visit the page, a slideshow of circulars shows up in the sidebar. Choose one and you can flip through the ads using zoom to magnify the page or pop out individual items to see more detail. You can then choose to add the item to your shopping list, which is printable and savable if you login.
Interactive circulars online aren’t new. You can find them on the websites of most major retail chains. What’s new is that ShopLocal is taking that technology and combining it with one of the best things about the Sunday paper – you don’t have to go find it, because it comes to you.