ShopCity, a storefront and marketing platform for SMBs, hopes to jumpstart its reach via a new “City Manager” program that allows local media partners to secure local URL rights owned by ShopCity (i.e., ShopMountainView.com) and market its services. City Managers, who handle sales and marketing as well as community relations, share revenues from storefront and marketing sales. They will also get a piece of the action from ShopCity’s community marketplace and upcoming daily deal feature.
One example of the program is ShopCorona.com. In this case, the SoCal city’s economic development division actively helped to market the platform to SMBs, greatly simplifying the city manager’s job — and winning an 80 percent participation rate among local businesses.
Embarcadero Publishing, a seven-title Bay Area group, is ShopCity’s charter media partner, having secured the rights to ShopPaloAlto.com, ShopMountainView.com and ShopMenloPark.com. Embarcadero has also begun actively soliciting support and business participation, landing partnerships with the chambers of commerce and municipal governments in all three cities, and ramping up for a September promotional campaign.
This summer, the Silicon Valley publisher hired a bunch of college kids to canvass the business community, showing off business profiles with a dedicated ShopCity iPhone app. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” says ShopCity CEO Colin Pape. “Small businesses really identify with our ‘shop local’ message and we’re generating a lot of goodwill by providing them with a complimentary profile page and online storefront.”
In other ShopCity news, Pape says the site is also building out its new national local shopping portal via ShopLocally.com, a URL it recently acquired.