Dr. Nancy Lam from Embarcadero Dentistry stars in MerchantCircle’s SF area ads.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Giving a Voice to 500,000 Merchants
A little more than a week after our 2 Year Anniversary, it's an honor for me to announce the passing of 500,000 merchants. While we've been the largest online network of local business owners for some time, it means more to us at MerchantCircle that our business owners across America are finding new customers and able to connect with merchants everywhere.
In June 2006, when we launched, we were committed to listening to what our merchants wanted and needed in an online business network to find new customers. Two years later? Absolutely nothing has changed. We listen to our merchants, just like merchants listen and help out each other in our MerchantCircle Forum. We've continued to add new functionality and features that makes merchant life easier.
While we've often spoken out about 'giving a voice' to local merchants on the web to 'fight back' against big box retailers, we should also make note that that 'voice' is now 500,000 strong and growing. Another common theme throughout the last two years has been that of the Yellow Pages and their long, fixed-term contracts, and expensive costs. I would have to say after these two posts (here and here), many merchants agree. No other blog posts drew as much discussion on our comment board than posts about the relevance of Yellow Pages.
One of the themes we encountered in our ongoing campaign of interviewing merchants in all 50 states, is that the Yellow Pages were inneffective and expensive. Don't get me wrong, we have some merchants who are still finding customers through print, but the majority are fed up. Our discussions with merchants on the phone and through surveys led us to come up with a portfolio of various online advertising products that fits every merchant's needs. As an early indicator, just six months after launch, we went from 500 paying merchants in late December to 5,000 by June.
You can read what our merchants in every state are saying by clicking here. It's been an exciting two years, filled with lots of announcements, and you can count on many more to come. The best part of those announcements? Our merchants and their 'voice' will be a part of them every step of the way.
Chairman and Co-Founder, MerchantCircle
P.S. The pictures above are who we're about.