Pricing intelligence company Channel IQ announced what it called the first e-commerce directory designed to link retailers with manufacturers and wholesalers, said Channel IQ CEO Wes Shepherd. The June 6 announcement was made at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition Hall in Chicago.
The directory, which is currently free to use and in beta testing, is searchable by product type (cameras, golf clubs), categories (clothing, tools) and specific companies (Best Buy, Sears). It is intended to show relationships among these companies and give key contact information, including direct email addresses, to help companies foster those relationships once they form.
“We’re really trying to build a LinkedIn-type interface with highly specialized info, Shepherd said. “When you think of LinkedIn, though, there’s not a lot of actionable information,” but this will provide insight into how companies are connected.
Shepherd said this offering is less about making money and more about continuing to identify Channel IQ as the go-to website for e-commerce partnership information.
In addition, Channel IQ announced the Dealer Verification Badge, which is designed to show product and retailer authentication and partnerships on e-commerce websites. The badge image appears above a product on the retailers webpage and shows that it is verified by the manufacturer itself, Shepard said. The badge is intended to instill consumer confidence, Shepherd said.
The badge is tied directly to the e-commerce directory, Shepherd said, and is free to companies who sign up.
“The real value [of the directory] is the ability to come to some place and traverse through lots of data,” Shepherd said. “I want to maintain and fulfill our role as being the leader in online marketing intelligence.”