RealTime IT News

Real Cities Offers Online Shopping Guide

Knight Ridder Real Cities, a network of city sites, launched an online shopping guide featuring a diverse collection of online merchants including eToys and barnesandnoble.com.

The shopping guide is an online hub where visitors can buy from specialized local merchants or national online retailers. The guide is integrated throughout the Real Cities network.

Users can locate housewares, gourmet foods, consumer electronics and computers, collectibles, books, sports gear and general merchandise. Time- saving holiday gift guide categories "For Her," "For Him," "Teens," "Young Kids" and "Office" also are offered.

"More than 2.5 million consumers use Real Cities each month for local and national information," said Kathy Yates, vice president of business development, Knight Ridder New Media. "Our research shows Real Cities users are twice as likely to have made online purchases based on information found online. It makes sense to now offer our users access to a shopping guide that provides a comprehensive selection of goods 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Real Cities also said it soon will be providing merchants with the ability to build online storefronts and join the shopping guide.

The Real Cities Shopping Guide enables users to locate local merchants who are not yet online, through its online Yellow Page listings, which include phone numbers and addresses complete with detailed directions and maps.

"A number of national studies indicate that persons who are heavy users of news and information online are also much more likely to be 'online shoppers,'" said Bob Ingle, president of Knight Ridder New Media. "We take this seriously; e-commerce is an integral part of our business and success."

Knight Ridder New Media, located in San Jose, CA, maintains more than 40 Web sites in the Real Cities network.

Knight Ridder is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher.