With the U.S. holiday shopping stampede commencing in approximately 36 hours, tech savvy New Yorkers could develop a strategic advantage in the competition for deal-nabbing. Today, software engineers Dmitry Pakhomkin and Artem Zarutskiy, have launched a location based search engine called Goodzer to find any consumer item in any store of the five boroughs of New York City.
Search for any product and Goodzer will tell you which stores currently have the product in stock, comparative pricing, distance to the retailer and what the store looks like.
Goodzer is launching in NYC first, with plans for other markets to follow. Goodzer's initial launch covers more than 15,000 brick-and-mortar stores, big and small, in the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island. Users can instantly search these stores to locate "any consumer product imaginable", from iPads to antique jewelry. Search results display product pricing, real-time in-stock status, and distance to the retailer through full integration with Google's Maps and Street View.
The idea for Goodzer's product search was developed by Co-Founder and CEO Dmitry Pakhomkin earlier this year. Spurred on by his wife's frustration in spending too much time looking for consumer items, Mr. Pakhomkin tasked himself with creating a specialized online search for brick and mortar retailers. Subsequently Dmitry began working with Co-Founder Artem Zarutskiy after reading a blog detailing Mr. Zarutskiy's work on a similar localized search program for the Moscow area. Since 2008, Mr. Zarutskiy had been perfecting the brick and mortar search technology ultimately used to power Goodzer. After connecting, the two quickly agreed to a partnership and began refining the Goodzer service in April 2010 - and since then have picked up 3 out of 4 awards at the Under The Radar conference.
"We realized that to build the perfect product search, contacting individual retailers is simply not scalable and would ignore the massive number of smaller independent stores," said Pakhomkin. "Goodzer is truly automated and the size of the retailer is immaterial. The technology does all of the work and is not constrained by the limits of human interaction, which allows us the ability to quickly scale up to expand coverage to more than 1 million retailers nationwide ."
The Secret Sauce
Goodzer has a clean and simple interface and incorporates Google Maps and Google Streetview to power it's search results pages. However, the real power of Goodzer comes from it's crawler which is able to parse any online store regardless of it's design and if it changes it's website. This is unique because other shopping search engines require store owners to supply product feeds in order to be indexed, which can entail weeks of work to build to the correct spec. Should there be any major changes to the website, then often feeds need to be resubmitted causing a delay in how up-to-date the listings appear on the search engines. Furthermore, the amount of work required for getting listed is generally prohibitive for most small boutiques - meaning that they get little exposure in search and the savvy shopper searcher has less choices.
Just How Good is Goodzer?
Some extreme examples of how good Goodzer is at indexing shops and how it offers more choice to the user are below:
Statue of Liberty Museum - amazingly, Goodzer has indexed products that can be found in the Statue of Liberty Museum, which illustrates it's ability to index anything.
Find Anything Shops are Selling: Did you know you can buy human skulls? Me neither, until now.
Mobile Local Search
Goodzer is available on the web at www.goodzer.com but is soon to be available for iPhone, with plans for the Droid, iPad and other device compatibility underway.
The iPhone app has some neat features that distinguish it from the web site - one being that the map pins are color coded to denote whether an item is in-stock or not. Green means it is in stock, Red means it's out of stock and Grey means that a real-time stock check is not available.