Thursday, October 21, 2010

Results of the Q3 2010 Merchant Circle MCI Survey are in!

Below are the results of our quarterly Merchant Confidence Index (MCI) survey for Q3 of 2010. The survey is designed to track trends in local business sentiment over time and was presented to a random sample of MerchantCircle members between October4th and 8th, 2010. 9,635 completed responses came in during this period and there were no incentives offered to complete the survey.

You can read the full press release on the findings here and take a look at all the data broken out below.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MerchantCircle In Your Living Room for the First Time

For the first time in the five year history of MerchantCircle, we are running TV commercials! As traditional with our strategy we've decided to take a very local approach with the first ones airing over the last three weeks in just San Francisco proper on CNN, ESPN, Bloomberg and other popular cable channels. We also took advantage of a big local sports interest and aired our ads on Comcast Bay Area during the last month of the San Francisco Giants baseball season which culminated in a NL Western Division title. We decided to extend that to TBS during games 1 and 3 of their divisional playoff series last week. That proved to be a good move as very fortunately for us, the games broadcast on TBS were two of the top thre highest rated programs that have aired on cable tv in the Bay Area in the past six years for Adults 25-54

Our commercials featured three of our favorite local merchants in San Francisco: Dr. Nancy Lam of Embarcadero Dentistry, Keith Wilson from The Boardroom in North Beach and Dr. Mike Le of Le Chiropractic in the Sunset District. It was definitely exciting to get them in the studio and hear them talk about the advantages of being a MerchantCircle member on camera. We were also excited to help them promote their businesses because, after all, that is what MerchantCircle is all about. We hope to expand this program across the country soon, so you may hear from us to be featured in our next installments!

The ads will continue over the next 10 weeks and considering we are airing over 90 commercials per week, hopefully you'll see one of them soon (at least, if you live in San Francisco :).  Big thanks to our friends at Comcast Spotlight who helped produce and air these spots for us.

We've received lots of great feedback from merchants, friends and family. If you'd like to see the three commercials in their entirety, you may do so below. Let us know what you think about them in the comments.

Thanks for watching!


Chris Brubaker

Director of Marketing




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Greeting from new MerchantCircle CTO Yori Nelken

Hello MerchantCircle Community,

I wanted to send out a note to you all to introduce myself and let you know how excited I am to be on board with such an amazing company. You probably read that MerchantCircle recently announced they had acquired my company, TimeBridge, and I have decided to stay aboard with MerchantCircle assuming the role of Chief Technology Officer. This will allow me to keep TimeBridge running smoothly for the 600,000 plus existing users as well as engineer the integration with MerchantCircle.

A few years ago, I founded TimeBridge while an entrepreneur in residence at Mayfield, a venture capital firm, determined to help make the lives of busy professionals better by streamlining their scheduling process. At that time, the world was almost completely on Microsoft Outlook. Google Calendar hadn't been launched. Macs still ran on PowerPC processors-- no Windows software ran on them. There were no iPhones nor Androids. Seems like decades ago right?

Well, the landscape changed a lot since then and we changed with it. We chucked our investment in the product we launched at Web 2.0--- a thick Outlook client. We redesigned it to rely less on Outlook (which is tricky) and capitalize on an increasingly complex calendaring environment and a more web oriented world. So we hunkered down and built a new version of our application that tapped into Google Calendar and the increasing use of Macs in the workplace. That confluence was a natural extension of our service--- and one that held great promise for growth. We built a product, technology and a business that I'm very proud of, but as with many things in life we found need to evolve further. Enter MerchantCircle.

Ben Smith and I have been friends for many years and I’ve long admired the incredible network he has built for small business owners and the tools that have helped enable those merchants to spread their message. One of the key components that MerchantCircle had not made available to its network yet was scheduling. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of running any business, organizing your customer’s appointments or even better, providing your customers an online mechanism for them to schedule themselves. And that’s the vision for our unification, to build that interface that both merchant and consumer can use to book their hair appointments, tire service or house cleanings, all through your MerchantCircle listing.

We have a new opportunity to take what we've built as a calendar assistance to professionals, to a broader audience and extend our platform in brand new ways. The MerchantCircle team has taken on a bold vision to power local merchants' business--- acquiring TimeBridge is part of that. I’m excited to be part of the MerchantCircle team and know that together my vision for TimeBridge will now come to fruition but with an exciting added twist helping to power an even greater community.

Best Regards,


Yori Nelken

Chief Technology Officer