Thursday, November 16, 2006

Testing Blog Posts


AskTheLocal! switch to new blogger

You'll find this blog continuing here.

The current blog entries below will remain in place, but won't be extended.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bloggers enhance local shopping search results

Note: this blog site continues at:

Another application for blogs has been introduced on the local shopping search AskTheLocal!. The 'prodblog', provides the blogosphere's opinion of each product listed on the search results page.

This adds a sense of certainty before tripping down to the local shop to buy a product. There are many shopping sites with some form of review link, but a blog is independent, and media rich e.g. bloggers can post photos or videos of how the product works in the real world. This means that bloggers from anywhere can comment on the products listed, and local shoppers in the UK will be able to compare the experiences in using those products before buying.

Due to the immediate indexing of a blog and because it is international, the comments will appear on other shopping sites that offer a prodblog link, and could be a good source of search engine traffic for bloggers in future.

You can try prodblogs by searching for a product on AskTheLocal! and then clicking the 'See prodblogs' link underneath the result.

To write about a particular product, use any of the main blogging engines e.g. Google's Blogger and mention the product name in the title of the blog. This should appear on AskTheLocal! after a few minutes.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The AskTheLocal! voice of experience talks

She may be new to the AskTheLocal! team, but my niece Raina knows a good thing when she sees one.

UK local shopping search feed available for portals

Kiosks, wireless and web portals in the UK can now integrate a local shopping search into their offerings. Picture yourself in a shopping mall or on the High Street, and being able to find out where to buy the 'nike shoes' you are desperate for, using a computer kiosk or mobile phone. Instantly, pictures and prices of the item are displayed, letting you know which shops -- closest to where you are standing -- are selling what you are looking for, along with maps of how to get there. How convenient is that?!

Greg Sterling detailed on SearchEngineWatch the exciting possibilities this represents for portal owners, and the high conversion rates that can be expected.

The AskTheLocal! feed is available in XML on a shared-revenue basis. This means that whatever traffic driven by the portal resulting in pay-per-click revenue, will be shared between the portal and AskTheLocal!.

If, for example, the portal would like to list and search all shops in a particular shopping mall, the portal owner has two opportunities to generate an ongoing revenue stream. Firstly, the owner can convince the retailers to list their products on AskTheLocal!, which leads to an ongoing Referrer Royalty, and exposure throughout their local area for the retailer. Secondly, the actual access to this local information on a kiosk, or wi-fi home-page generates a further revenue share from the leads generated.

For the techies, here's how you can try out the XML feed:

1. Carry out a search on AskTheLocal!
2. In the URL box, replace '' with ''
e.g search for nike shoes as an XML feed

For more information please contact us.

Books on UK Retail

I was investigating books on UK retail. Here are some of the ones I found:

Smart Retail: How to Turn Your Store into a Sales Phenomenon by Richard Hammond
Start and Run Your Own Shop: How to Open a Successful Retail Business by Val Clark
Retailing: An Introduction
Retailing: An Introduction by Paul Brittain and Roger Cox (Paperback - 11 Mar 2004)
Winning at Retail
by Willard Ander and Neil Stern
Principles of Retail Management
Principles of Retail Management by Rosemary Varley and Mohammed Rafiq (Paperback - 27 Nov 2003)
Retail Product Management
Retail Product Management by Rosemary Varley (Paperback - 1 April 2005)
Supermarket Wars by Andrew Seth, Geoffrey Randall