Intel Keeps Its Eye on Local Markets
The heart of the EyeOnMarket plan is a shopping engine created by parent company Intel Corp. The engine will be part of customized Web pages that will appear at the local shopping sections of national and regional portals as well as Internet service providers.
"We want to park ourselves on destination portals and provide information in an easy-to-use format," said Ganesh Prasad, general manager at EyeOnMarket, which is part of Intel Corp.'s New Business Group, Chandler, AZ. "Consumers will be able to search according to price, model and manufacturer based on their ZIP code. They can also do a keyword search and browse by category."
The company said it is negotiating with six portals and one ISP as well as "more than two dozen of the nation's top retailers and manufacturers," but it would not reveal any of the companies.
It also would not provide the number of retailers and manufacturers that will participate in the program.
The goal is to connect retailers and manufacturers with consumers online for purchases at local stores offline. "Consumers continue to shop locally despite the growth of the Internet," Prasad said. "This will be a primary research tool they will use to buy at their local stores."
EyeOnMarket believes consumers will flock to its offering because it will save them time and money. The company will add promotions, coupons and rebates to its service as well as Consumer Reports ratings to make the service a "one-stop, local shopping experience," Prasad said. "We will give them the best research for making a decision."
A basic listing using the service is free. Companies can pay to add logos, images, descriptions, prices and links to their Web sites, as well as to sponsor a category. EyeOnMarket plans to add a system in the near future that will allow client companies to measure response from their participation in the service.
Aside from the Internet, the service will reach Web-enabled cell phones and personal digital assistants with its "instant sales notification."
With the exception of books, software and a handful of other items, consumers will always look to make many of their purchases offline, Prasad said. "They like to look, touch and feel. A leather couch can be swiveled on your screen all you like, but it's a different experience to sit in it," he said. "Plus, they can return an item easily if they're not happy with it. Then there's the perception of credit-card safety and shipping charges."
EyeOnMarket will derive its revenue from advertising, merchant services, affiliate programs and licensing fees. Its Web site is located at EyeOnMarket.com.