When Techvibes last covered ShopCity back in September 2010, the company has raises an additional $500,000, expanded its head count (up to 18 employees), and increased its merchant base (40,000, although many aren’t yet active).
With ShopLocally, the startup’s latest project encourages e-commerce consumers to keep it local. The website features a business directory, an Etsy-like marketplace, gift certificates from local businesses, and a local gift registry.
Founded in 2008, ShopCity lets merchants buy towns or cities and then run them as their own. ShopLocally has an equally local focus but operates on a different model. ShopLocally aggregates content from ShopCity’s network, making it more of a search engine that complements and supports ShopCity’s established business.
According to ShopLocally, only 2% of small business are franches and 65% of every dollar spent local stays local. The site aims to provide everything that big-box retailers can provide provided by businesses rooted near your home. To compete with the convenience of giants like Amazon, ShopLocally allows for in-store pickups as well as deliveries, and its gift cards can be displayed on a smartphone for redemption.
The company’s service is free for consumers and runs on a freemium model for businesses. ShopCity was founded by Colin Pape and has Steve Outtrim—who was once the youngest CEO of a public company in Australia’s history that grew to a $1.7 billion market cap—on its board of advisors.
ShopLocally is currently web-only but has plans for mobile apps.