Company Aims to Be Electronic Sales Circular

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ShoppingList.com launched this month with the unusual focus for a Web site of driving consumers to brick-and-mortar retailers by offering information on sales at local stores.


Using several unnamed data collection companies, ShoppingList.com offers consumers a database of sales searchable by ZIP code. Listing everything from groceries to appliances, the service claims an index of 1,000 retailers in 100,000 locations in the United States carrying 10,000 brands in 250 product categories.


The service is free to shoppers and to merchants it lists, although the company plans to charge merchants beginning in the first quarter of 2000. The fee will be to "prevent some of the smaller stores that might want to list a lot of junk items," said Chao Lam, president and CTO of ShoppingList.com, Sunnyvale, CA.


The company also expects to make money selling sponsorship advertising to retailers wanting to differentiate themselves from others listed. The company does not receive a rebate or other incentives for driving consumers to retail stores.


The company plans to go to malls before Christmas to hand out mugs, T-shirts, notepads and other merchandise with a special Web address printed on them to monitor the promotion's effectiveness. It also plans mall road shows in conjunction with radio advertising during the holidays and is considering circling malls with moving billboards.


"We want to rise above the general .com noise level out there," said Helen Loh, vice president of marketing.


Ad agency Eisnor Interactive, New York, is handling the account.


The company will also begin a direct e-mail marketing program, renting e-mail lists from YesMail.com, MyPoints.com and potentially other e-mail marketing companies.
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