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StepUp.com Unveils Local Shopping Engine

Jeremy Muncy
Staff Writer
Published: 2004-08-11

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StepUp.com, consumer and merchant services web site, announced the launch of the Internet's premier local shopping engine, currently in beta testing. StepUp.com offers merchants a simple and economical way (free, for a limited time) to easily list their products online, driving web shoppers to their physical locations. StepUp.com combines the benefits of online shopping with local commerce, providing consumers and local merchants a powerful new tool.

"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." StepUp.com's sales tools include a client that automatically uploads inventory information continually from QuickBooks, the leading financial management product from Intuit Inc., so businesses have a hands-off way to drive sales from Internet shoppers even if they do not currently have a web presence. Businesses can easily register as member stores and will be able to begin merchandising their products immediately. For a limited time, StepUp.com is allowing businesses to sign up as charter member stores for free, allowing them to merchandise their products without paying any product listing fees.

Shoppers visiting StepUp.com will be able to use local search for a product and will have the option of buying from a physical store in their vicinity or, if it is not available locally, the shopper will be able to buy the product from a web store. If the shopper chooses to purchase from a local physical store, then StepUp.com will use the physical location of the shopper to determine which nearby stores carry the product in their inventory.

"With StepUp.com's one-stop shopping interface, shoppers are able to find all their web store and physical store shopping options," continued Kendall Fargo." The ability for consumers to shop across channels will offer an enormous, unique and convenient product selection that will surpass anything else available on the web."

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About the Author:
Jeremy Muncy is a staff writer for WebProNews.com

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