The team over at MerchantCircle are going on the offensive, trying to attract local businesses to use their services to fight corporate retail stores like Wal Mart and Starbucks.
Apparently, it’s working.
The concept isn’t new but they have been able to carve a strong niche by combining social networking with standard directory-style listings to create a service that the important companies (Google and Bing) love and that consumers can utilize. With the trend of reviews and hyper-local advertising increasing in 2011, MerchantCircle is a company that we will be watching closely.
Here is their CEO Ben Smith, IV, appealing to small, local merchants by pointing out that the “big guys like Wal Mart, Home Depot, Starbucks are using the Internet to beat up the little guy.”
The message makes sense.
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