Calling yourself an independent alternative to Amazon are fighting words at best and perhaps somewhat naïve, but that’s what Dan Facciolo thinks is possible with the creation of his company Locoshop, a Montreal-based search engine designed to be completely unbiased, transparent and review free, that promotes local independent retail.
“Over the past decade, Amazon has been capturing sales from independent local retailers largely thanks to convenient search and fast delivery,” said Dan Facciolo, Founder of Locoshop.io and Montreal native. “Now that millions of local retailers worldwide have transitioned online, largely due to the pandemic, we thought it made sense to connect them to a common platform and give shoppers an alternative to Amazon that is truly local. Unlike Google or Amazon who deliberately engineer search results,” adds Facciolo “Locoshop is truly the most transparent way to search global and buy local.
100% independent, Locoshop is focused purely on showcasing physical stores and their products. Unlike other search engines, Locoshop does not feature reviews, which can often be falsely representative and instead, features listings of products with a direct link to a local physical store. The platform is free to use for shoppers and stores can join for free to list up to 500 products and perform 4 updates per month or pay $350/year for unlimited products and updates which also includes promotional support.
A global search engine with a “local first” approach, Locoshop is designed to help shoppers save time by locating brand name products in the closest nearby stores and to help stores get more direct online visibility for the products they carry in stock. A quick search for Nike, prompted a result for an independent skateboard shop in Calgary four provinces away, something that Locoshop will surely refine with time. Locoshop explains when searching for a product on Locoshop, “matching results are always listed in order of proximity to the shopper” but that was not my experience during my searching. Enterprising Vancouver indie retailer Headphone Bar is currently being promoted on Locoshop’s home page. Indeed every refresh of the homepage promotes a new retail listing. While a search for Sonos promoted a result for the AudioShop in Ottawa, certainly a worthy retailer, Locoshop did not suggest the shop that sells Sonos ten minutes from where I live. Again, early days in the creation of a monumental task. Credit to Lococshop that all searching yeilded a result for an independent retailer and not a big box shop.
With Locoshop, shoppers can choose to visit a physical store or buy online directly from the shop. When clicking the ‘buy here’ button on a product search result, Locoshop immediately redirects a shopper to the retailer’s e-commerce website to complete the sale.
Locoshop gathers product data from e-commerce-enabled websites around the world using opt-in registration services as well as proprietary indexing technology. All product information available on Locoshop is already publicly visible on other domains and exists solely to direct re-traffic its original source. which includes promotional support.
To register your store to Locoshop, visit www.locoshop.io/signup, your store must be registered on Google Maps and operate an e-commerce enabled website (Shopify, Lightspeed, WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, Squarespace, Volusion, Wix, etc.) to qualify.
We always support and embrace the tenacity of entrepreneurs willing to offer alternative platforms to those that are already firmly established regardless of how challenging the task. We will watch how Locoshop evolves to see if it can provide a viable alternative to the Amazon and search giant Google. We also suggest you register on the platform. Hey, it’s free!