(PRESS RELEASE – JANUARY 18, 2010) – MerchantCircle, the largest social network of local business owners, today announced that it has signed its millionth merchant to the local business network, just three and a half years after the company’s launch. Out of the estimated 15 million local merchants in the U.S. today, more than one million have claimed their listings and have accessed MerchantCircle’s suite of free and premium tools to reach local consumers online. More than 20 million local consumers discover small businesses in their area via MerchantCircle every month.
“In the last three years, local business owners have become acutely aware that ignoring online marketing is no longer an option. They know they need to be online, where consumers are doing local research,” said Ben Smith, Chairman and CEO of MerchantCircle. “MerchantCircle’s model gives them a turnkey way to find and engage consumers on the web. Thousands of merchants have told us how MerchantCircle helped their businesses grow through its effective, cost-efficient web marketing platform. We are very proud to have reached this important milestone.”
“MerchantCircle’s growth is an amazing success story,” said Greg Sterling, senior analyst Opus Research and Sterling Market Intelligence. “The company is a high-profile exception to the widely held belief that small businesses won’t self-provision online marketing.”
MerchantCircle’s one-millionth merchant was Nassau Avenue Nails of Islip, NY. Owner, Danielle Biegler, found out about MerchantCircle after searching for other local businesses nearby. As the one-millionth member, she will receive every product MerchantCircle offers for free, MerchantCircle gear, and a new sign for her store.
“It’s such an honor to be the one-millionth merchant! The website seemed pretty cool and I saw it was free to create a listing,” said Danielle. “It was really easy-to-use. I built coupons, wrote a blog, and even got my husband to sign-up his business (MB Automotive in Bayshore, NY) on MerchantCircle as well.”
Since MerchantCircle launched in 2007, the company has reached the following milestones:
* MerchantCircle has served up nearly 1 billion local page views
* Local consumers have contributed more than 650,000 local business reviews
* More than 350,000 local coupons have been created by merchant members
* Merchants have written nearly 400,000 blog posts using MerchantCircle’s online publishing platform
* More than 1 million local business photos have been uploaded to the system by member merchants
Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest social network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with a customizable web listing that allows local merchants to attract new customers. More than 15 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country are easily accessed on major search engines. Currently, more than one million merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters, and connect with other merchants.
In addition to its free services, MerchantCircle offers a portfolio of online advertising services including Search Engine Marketing, Website Directory Submission, Web Content Creation, Instant Website Development and Business Verification Services. The company is located on Main St. in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is funded by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Disney’s Steamboat Ventures, and IAC. Learn more at www.merchantcircle.com.
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