MerchantCircle, which has established some expertise in launching markets on the cheap, says it is going international with new sites for Canada, the U.K. and Australia. It had previously announced that it is opening up its API to allow sites to use its reviews, ratings and enhanced profiles on an a la carte basis. HelloMetro, 8 Coupons and Center’d’s The Deal Map are among those sites already using the APIs.
VP Darren Waddell says the 25-person site’s approach is to “get live; get pages out there,” using local country data that it is licensing. In the meantime, he envisions that the international sites will organically grow. Until the sites are fully launched, MerchantCircle will only roll out its suite of free products, which include coupon creation, newsletter delivery, pictures and blogs.
The international sites will likely accelerate their growth when local partnerships are put in place. Waddell says MerchantCircle is looking at SMB firms, YP firms and others to work with. The partnerships will be akin to the relationship in the States that MerchantCircle has established with firms like Web.com. “We are looking for someone to drive [membership] to existing merchants. We want to engage folks that aren’t yet online,” he says.
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