Colin Pape, Founder,
In just four years, Colin Pape has accomplished something with his ShopCity.com Community Commerce Platform that many Internet entrepreneurs never achieve: He has taken his enterprise both cash flow positive and profitable. He has built a portfolio of 8,100 call-to-action “Shop(Cityname)” geo domains. And on the way, he has taken on Google to free his legitimate and valuable commercial sites from the Big G’s dungeon and placed high in the search rankings where they belong.
And so for the second time since 2010, Colin Pape, Founder of ShopCity.com and ShopLocally.com, is one of our Most Fascinating People in Domaining for 2012.
==> A VISIONARY FROM THE START
Colin has been in the Internet business since the 1990s, when as a teenager he began providing web development and hosting services. Working with small- to medium-sized enterprises made him aware of the challenges for local businesses in having a meaningful presence on the Internet. He launched his first community-based site, ShopMidland.com (for his home town of Midland, Ontario), in 2000. He was 20.
==> SOMETHING MANY WEB ENTERPRISES LACK: ACTUAL FEET ON THE STREET
Growth in local business participation is also the result of another major development that differentiates ShopCity from other Internet ventures. “We had the opportunity to build a corporate sales team when YellowPages.ca shut down our competitor CanPages.ca,” explains Colin. “So we brought on 50 salespeople to establish a corporate sales force.”
==> SUCCESS AND POTENTIAL ATTRACTS WORLD-CLASS LEADERSHIP
Colin has recently added impressive talent at the top of the ShopCity organization as well.
“We’re very fortunate to have Roy with us,” says Colin. “He’s very familiar with the franchise model. He worked his way up from flipping burgers to opening restaurants in Canada and Moscow, to becoming senior VP for customer experience in all of Canada.”
None of the developments achieved in 2012 or planned for 2013 would have been possible without ShopCity’s winning better treatment from Google in September 2011. “That was the challenge of our lives,” says Colin.
“Our FTC submission has nothing to do with a lawsuit or damages of any kind,” Colin wrote a few weeks ago on Marketing Pilgrim. “In fact, we are taking quite a risk by filing a complaint, both with backlash from Google, and with people who defend any and every one of Google’s policies. We feel that the entire marketplace would benefit from increased transparency from the world’s most powerful company, and this complaint, requesting a formal investigation, is the way to bring that about.”
“We got the ranking in Palo Alto because we had college students go out and collect 200 menus and post them all. Then others starting linking to us, so we achieved the ranking organically,” says Colin.
==> A BRIGHT FUTURE
After flying under the radar the past two years, ShopCity is poised for growth and expansion.
==> IT’S ALL ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS
ShopCity.com and ShopLocally.com are perfectly in tune with the growing shop local movement that encourages consumers to support the small businesses in their local communities. They’re so in tune with this trend that ShopLocally.com has over 19,000 “Likes” on Facebook and just a few dozen shy of 20,000 followers on Twitter. “Now that we have a core following, we can be the distribution point for the shop local movement,” Colin says. “This is cooperative marketing at its core.”