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Old 08-09-2004   #1
garyp
 
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New Shopping Engine (Beta)

For your shopping engine radar screens.

Setup.com
http://www.stepup.com/


News Release
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040809/nym053_1.html
Quote:
"We founded StepUp.com because local shopping is broken, and our mission is to fix it. Currently, half of the 80 million web shoppers in the U.S. prefer to purchase offline, but the Yellow Pages, the most-used local shopping resource, only list generic categories and force customers to call around in order to find specific products. This makes local shopping tedious at best," said Kendall Fargo, President and CEO of StepUp.com. "At the same time, businesses have been frustrated trying to promote their local store inventory to the growing number of online shoppers. For those merchants, we developed simple patent-pending Internet sales tools, making it easy for them to drive new 'walk-in' business from local customers who use the web."
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Old 08-09-2004   #2
Robert_Charlton
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garyp - Thanks for the article. It will be great if this engine really happens... on the surface it's a good idea... but I'm guessing that it won't.

The engine will need a lot of critical mass to take off, and it looks there's hardly any backfill, and no way they're going to be able to get it fast enough. The inventory information, eg, looks like a proprietary feature, and no one but member merchants could provide the data.

As I look at the engine... and I understand it's beta... the search looks like it's set up to include any word... so searching "men's shirts," eg, gave men's watches, men's hip waders, men's putters, etc, all from the same KMart.

Looks like the 90s may be back.
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Old 08-09-2004   #3
pleeker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert_Charlton
the search looks like it's set up to include any word... so searching "men's shirts," eg, gave men's watches, men's hip waders, men's putters, etc, all from the same KMart.
Ditto here, Robert -- they need to default to AND on multiple word searches. I also had a few Best Buy listings mixed in there. Oh, and it told me that a city across the state was only 9 miles away. Whoops. Beta.

Quote:
Looks like the 90s may be back.
Yep. It is a good idea on the whole, but I just don't see how a concept like this will ever work at the macro (national) level. Local shopping search is needed, and can succeed, but it really needs to be developed at the local level by wise and talented developers across the country who can really sell it to both merchants and shoppers.

On a semi-related note, eBay made mention a couple months ago that they were going to make another push towards localization and using their platform as a local shopping engine -- but I've yet to see any follow-up to the announcement.
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Old 08-10-2004   #4
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Clickz has an article about StepUp.com.
http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3392841
Quote:
"The only local shopping resource available for people is the yellow pages. The problem with the yellow pages is it allows you to guess a business category, and then call businesses and see if the product is in stock. It's kind of a tedious, slow process," said Kendall Fargo, co-founder, CEO and president of StepUp Commerce. "The yellow pages experience is still about the same as it was about 70 years ago."

So far, results on the StepUp.com beta site come through affiliate relationships with Kmart, Best Buy and Circuit City. They don't yet reflect real-time inventory status.
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Old 08-11-2004   #5
sebastian
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"BETA" is a good description.

i find this site to be:

- clunky. the pop-ups open requiring horizontal scroll bars, yet the ability to resize the window has been removed via the script that opens the windows.

- there is no "contact us" info that i could find. makes the effort appear shady as if it's an email mining site trying to get emails of business owners and decision-makers. (CORRECTION: found it buried in the seller's guide)

- the only way to submit products is manually or via quickbooks???? lame. at the very least allow for .csv or .xls as i know zero business owners who store product information in quickbooks.

- the "manual" entry process needs a "copy" command that allows you to duplicate a previous entry and just make minor changes such as color, quantity or other descriptive attributes.

hopefully, i am wrong about the email "mining", but when leaving the site, you walk away feeling duped.

that's my 2 cents.

cheers.

Last edited by sebastian : 08-11-2004 at 09:34 AM.
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