ShopLocal Unveils Facebook Marketing Suite

ShopLocal has launched a new set of applications allowing retailers to add local circulars and ads to their Facebook pages. The new suite of tools includes a Deals tab, Deals widgets and targeted ads that promise to combine the power of the local weekly circular with the world's largest social network.

The Deals tab shows a retailer's most popular product offers based on information pulled from a user's Facebook profile such as location and gender. Users can "like," comment on or share a deal, and click through to purchase and subscribe directly to a retailer's RSS feed.

ShopLocal's "Become a Fan" widgets can be installed on any Web site, giving retailers the ability to publish local store promotions to the widget and directly to fans' Facebook news feeds. The package also includes running Facebook Ads for deals and offers found on companies' Facebook pages.

Canadian Tire, CVS, JCPenney, Michaels, Office Depot, OfficeMax are among companies already using the ShopLocal Facebook marketing tools. "We know that 49% of visitors to corporate fan pages go there to gain information on sales and special offers and another 45% come to learn about products," said Vikram Sharma, CEO of Gannett-owned ShopLocal, in a statement. "ShopLocal's toolkit helps retailers across the country capitalize on this social shopping phenomenon."

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Separately, Microsoft Monday rolled out a new localized deals service as part of MSN Local Edition. Online circulars featured in the section are powered by ShopLocal, which partners with top national retailers including Target, Best Buy, Home Depot and CVS. The new site lets visitors rotate through different deals on one screen or browse and flip through them like print versions.

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