Yokel Launches Local Shopping Search Engine
Posted on May 10, 2006Search Engine Watch reports that a new local shopping search engine called Yokel has launched. You can type in the product you are looking for as well as the city, state and/or zip code and Yokel will tell which local stores carry the product you are trying to find. Yokel will also give you an address for each store and directions for how to get there using Google Maps' technology.
Local search engines, especially local shopping engines will continue to be important as most people still research online and then buy offline at local retailers. As Scott explained to me, "even people who go to online shopping comparison engines still buy offline. 98% of commerce is still done locally." Yokel is set up to solve this problem. Scott continued "there seems to be a void. Yokel answers the question, where do I buy [product x] at a physical retailer near me?"Search Engine Watch says Yokel covers 1.5 million locations. They also have a city site set up for Boston.
Scott admitted that we're still very early in the shopping game. Yokel does not provide real-time local inventory information, but rather looks at ever increasing specificity questions. Consumers first want to know what stores carry a particular category of items, then a particular brand, and then a particular item. Consumers don't start out knowing they want a HLR5667W (specific Maytag dishwasher). This also reflects the approach Yokel took to aggregating local information.