Channel Intelligence Selects Microsoft MapPoint Web Service(R) as the Map Provider for Product Pinpointer(TM)
Service Intelligently Places Consumers on Retailer Doorsteps Throughout North America and Europe
CELEBRATION, Fla., Aug. 22 -- As part of its dedication to helping manufacturers and retailers sell more effectively, Channel Intelligence today announced that the Microsoft MapPoint Web Service® has been selected as the exclusive map provider for its Product Pinpointer(TM) service. Among the reasons cited were MapPoint's ease of use, and its extensive coverage of both North America and Europe.
"Our focus is on providing services that bind manufacturers, retailers, and consumers together," says Robert Wight, CEO of Channel Intelligence. "While adding maps to Product Pinpointer is a definite benefit to consumers, it's not our primary area of expertise. Since MapPoint is Internet-based rather than server-based, it allows us to offer detailed maps without having to install or maintain the information locally. And when new geographic information or functionality is added, it's available immediately. The entire value chain wins."
The selection of the MapPoint Web Service by Channel Intelligence, the industry leader in manufacturer-driven commerce, is one of the first major customer wins for Microsoft in this category.
"Microsoft has had an outstanding relationship with Channel Intelligence since they were founded," says Michael Graff, General Manager of Microsoft's MapPoint Group. "They were one of the first to incorporate Microsoft .NET technology into a working application, and they're leading the way again with the implementation of the MapPoint Web Service. We're glad that they see the advantages of our Internet-based delivery model and are providing their customer base with the best possible solution."
Product Pinpointer is a service that helps consumers research where they can purchase a product at local physical store locations. Consumers begin by looking for a product on a manufacturer's Web site. When they find it, they can enter their zip code to find retail stores in their area who carry that specific product, and see whether it is in stock. If the store with the product they want is outside their normal shopping area, clicking on the map button allows them to view and print a map and detailed driving directions. Some of the retailers that Product Pinpointer displays with store level stock status are Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, and Sears. Manufacturers can add their entire database of dealers to the set of dealers who share store level stock status.
"The key difference between our service and other dealer locators is that Product Pinpointer starts with the product you're looking for," says Wight. "Typical dealer locators merely tell you that a retailer is an 'authorized dealer' for the brand, with no regard as to whether that location carries the specific product in which you have expressed interest. Then they give you a map to your local store, as if you don't already know where the closest Best Buy is to you. With a Product Pinpointer search, you know exactly where to go to get exactly what you want. Since the store that has it in stock might be a couple of towns away, having a map available now has value."
The ability to map European store locations also weighed heavily in the decision to select MapPoint, Wight says. Since their clients represent most of the top 20 percent of companies selling consumer electronics and computer products, the ability to provide detailed maps and directions in those countries was an added incentive.
"Our success in the U.S. has encouraged our clients to roll out our services internationally," Wight says. "MapPoint's capabilities in this area are a good fit, both for today and the future."
About Channel Intelligence, Inc.
Channel Intelligence, Inc. develops services that improve online and offline sales for manufacturers, dealers, and consumers. These services allow manufacturers and dealers to capture incremental sales, maintain margins, reduce shopping cart abandonment, and refine product flow through the channel, all the while improving the shopping experience for the customer. Channel Intelligence has sent over $7B in leads through the channel and has helped manufacturers sell more than $1B in products. Located in Orlando, FL, Channel Intelligence, Inc. is privately held. For more information, contact: Channel Intelligence, Inc., 1180 Celebration Blvd., Celebration, FL 34747; phone (321) 559-2300; fax (321) 559-2379; www.channelintelligence.com .
Ken Krause, Tech Image, Ltd. for Channel Intelligence
(847) 632-0040 x228