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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 04, 2008

MerchantCircle launches "Verified" program

Local search has been a booming category for online marketers for several months but many consumers still have questions about just who is behind those online businesses they click to from a search engine. A new platform from MerchantCircle could help consumers feel more at home with local businesses because it verifies the businesses found through a search query.

by Kristina Knight

Online merchants who are part of the verified program are given a button to display on their websites. This process is very similar to email authentication programs offered to email marketers. Merchants first must give MerchantCircle specific information about their business, reviews and ratings from the Internet and submit peer-to-peer reviews from other business owners from their area.

Darren S. Waddell, Sr. Director of Marketing at MerchantCircle said, “MerchantCircle Verified will boost trust in local merchants and better enable them to compete with national brands on the web.”

The information provided by the merchants is not made public, it is used to verify that the merchant is, in fact, who he/she says she is and that the business is legitimate. Businesses who meet the requirements are given a badge so that consumers who click through to their website know that the business is legitimate.

Tags: ecommerce, local search, merchant circle

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