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We spoke with Scott Randall, CEO of shopping engine Yokel, recently about the site’s market positioning and some of the challenges of building an online shopping model (majority of conversions happen offline, difficulty in tracking consumer’s, lack of inventory data, etc.). These issues are explored further here.

The site officially launched today, and we’ll be watching it closely with all the above factors in mind. Online shopping will be an interesting area to watch as all these challenges are hammered out. Other interesting companies to watch in this space include ShopLocal and StepUp. Representatives from both companies sat on a panel about the online-offline purchase funnel during The Kelsey Group’s recent Drilling Down on Local conference. ZiXXo is also doing some interesting things with online coupons, which can drive offline conversions and serve as a valuable tracking tool. Read more about the company here and in our last issue of Local Media Journal.

Online shopping and all these related issues will be important subjects of upcoming TKG coverage, as will other vertical search categories, such as automotive, jobs and real estate. Stay tuned.

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