Thursday, April 29, 2010

Calling all Developers! Build Local Apps with new MerchantCircle API feed

Yesterday, MerchantCircle announced that it has opened its first Application Programming Interface (API) to third party developers who can now develop applications on top of the company's database of valuable local business information from merchants nationwide. This has developers and merchants alike excited by the possibilities.

Said Dennis Mink, CEO of, a check-in aggregator website, who recently plugged into the feed, "An open avenue to merchant-created data will be invaluable for us as we work to create greater value for consumers using check-in platforms."

With local mobile applications garnering so much attention from the development community, business owners are recognizing the value that these provide them for indirect marketing. Chris Rodgers, owner of Coral Cab in Pinellas Park, FL. remarked that “These days, everyone wants to access the internet on their mobile phones, and for a business that caters to so many tourists that access point is invaluable. I’m happy that MerchantCircle is working to find new ways to get the word out about my business.”

So if you're a developer and working on or considering building any application to leverage local business information then link up with us. More than 1 million businesses have information ranging from coupons to reviews to help populate any location based application.

To access the MerchantCircle API, developers can visit:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MerchantCircle Named to JMP Securities "100 Best Privately Held Internet Companies" List

We were very flattered to learn recently that we were included in the inaugural edition of  JMP Securities' The 100 Best Privately Held Internet Companies. A vertible who's who of the Web 2.0 landscape, the list includes industry heavyweights like Facebook, Demand Media, Linked In and Zynga from various sectors including e-commerce, digital media, social media and games.  The 2010 "Hot 100" has companies at all stages of growth and maturity acknowledging the youth of the sector.  Within the report, JMP identifies the two major trends it sees emerging in the coming years with those being social media and its related ecosystem and data/monetization.

It's humbling for a small company of less than 30 people to be recognized along with some of the most recognizable names in the industry as a company also leading in innovation and development. We're so grateful that the work we've done to help over 1 million small businesses market themselves is being viewed as such a successful endeavor.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Give your city the locals only touch with our City Pages

At MerchantCircle we're constantly on the look out for ways in which we can bring local businesses any type of exposure to help them grow. During this time we've noticed that merchants care deeply about their cities, neighborhoods and their community. We've personally heard this as well as noticed the increased participation in our Answers feature, involvement in the forums and contributions to our city pages.

Because of this interest we've decided to take a step in the direction of allowing our merchants to start participating in building out the description and content on what their city is about. Things like what makes it interesting, the best places to shop, and local points of interest all to be composed by the people who we believe are part of the pillars/stalwarts of the community..local business owners.

It's still a work in progress but check out our first step.

Our Mountain View, CA page has already been edited. Feel free to expand what merchants have contributed by adding more about what makes Mountain View, CA special. Of course don't stop there, know that you can contribute to any city in the United States. Here's a look at those in CA alone! So if you have great things to say about your hometown then go for it!

As always we're constantly refining our product so check back often to see what improvements have been made. We already have some great ideas and will be expanding this feature to include additional areas where local business owners can contribute even more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Answers Feature Expanding Through New Partnerships

Today we were pleased to announce two partnerships that will significantly expand the MerchantCircle Answers feature to two popular networks.  Our new realtionships with, a Demand Media company, and HelloMetro, a global network of 1500 hyper-local city guides, mean that more questions will be routed to our one million plus members who are experts in every professional field, resulting in better distribution of their expertise around the web.

According to Quantcast, is the 122nd most popular U.S. site with more than 8.5MM unique visitors monthly.

For Example: If you’re a landscaper, you now have one easy Answers destination to generate local business leads. When you receive a landscaping question in MerchantCircle and share your advice, your answer gets wider distribution around the web -- through MerchantCircle, Answerbag and HelloMetro.

Here are some updates on the growth of MerchantCircle’s Answers engine since it launched in September 2009.

• MC Answers has provided almost 100,000 answers to consumer inquiries in just 6 months.

• There have been nearly 80,000 questions submitted.

• More than half of those have been tended to with multiple responses from specialized merchants.

The complete announcement can be read here

Monday, April 12, 2010

SF Chronicle covers battle for local ad space highlighting MerchantCircle

On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an in depth look at the race for market leadership in the local online ad space.  The report by James Temple covered a number of the hotter issues in the marketplace including mobile search, anti-trust issues and Google's dominating Place Pages. When discussing local content and databases the reporter leverages MerchantCircle co-founder Ben Smith's insights while highlighting the mark our company has made to date. 

You can read the whole story here

Friday, April 2, 2010

MerchantCircle Family Growing

Today the company was pleased to announce our new senior members of the MerchantCircle team. Our member base has grown substantially over the past year and building our internal leadership is very important as we scale. Four talented invidivuals have recently come aboard to strengthen our marketing, business development and communications programs. They are, in alphabetical order:

Chris Brubaker, Director of Marketing Programs

Grace Chan, Director of Merchant Monetization

Julie Craft, Sr. Director of Business Development

Sean Pate, Director of Public Relations

You can read all about their backgrounds and favorite local businesses on our official press announcement.

We're very excited that these folks have decided to help us continue to build out the network for the local merchants across the country.  Their contributions have already been felt and we know that will result in a better MerchantCircle for everyone.

As our team continues to expand you might be interested in joining us..Visit our Jobs section on the site to see the opportunities we have to come aboard.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

“Top Merchant" Decal Program Exciting Members

Since 2007, MerchantCircle has been awarding its "Top Merchant" recognition to our valuable members who distinguish themselves as a reliable and trusted source on MerchantCircle.  A select group have risen above the masses to earn this distinction denoted as a badge on their MerchantCircle pages. But last month, in an effort to give recipients a chance to really show their awards to all customers our staff stuffed envelopes and mailed off thousands of new window decals to our Top Merchants to further recognize the finest merchants on the nation's largest social network of local business owners.

Some of our members who've received their window decals recently have been tweeting and posting to Facebook with their excitement. There's even been some of you like Frank Myers Auto Maxx in Winston Salem, NC and Mac Productions Inc of Cleveland who've put out formal press releases! This is great to see! We're so excited that you're excited and hope you'll continue to promote your business through our network and encourage others to do the same.

For those of you who aren't yet a Top Merchant you can click here to see the criteria needed to qualify. Its easy to do and helps you better market your business.  Every month we find all of our members who have completed the requirements and award them with a Top Merchant web badge for their listing page and now a decal for their storefront.

Enter to win in the Top Merchant Decal Contest! To commemorate the launch the window decal program we are inviting all of those Top Merchants to upload a photo of your storefront with your Top Merchant decal to your listing page. You'll automatically be entered to win unlimited invites and five additional free cities to help promote your listing.

If you don’t have a storefront then don’t worry. Upload a photo of your Top Merchant decal on your car or laptop or any place you feel best represents your business. Five winners will be chosen at random and we will announce the winner on May 17. We're looking forward to seeing all your photos!