Yell.com’s ShopView videos were launched last year. They are short films that let potential customers see first-hand what local businesses – and their owners and staff – look like, a step-up from plain listings.
The videos can be uploaded for free to the Yell.com website, the online version of the Yellow Pages directory.
The videos can be shop walk-arounds or feature staff as the stars. There’s no need for a bike shop to spend big money on a professional film-crew: access to video cameras has never been greater and, with many of the most popular videos on YouTube being short, shaky but fun, creativity often counts for more than HD cameras.
Matthew Bottomley, who heads up innovations at Yell.com, said: "If a video is clever or funny enough, it could go viral and even get a global audience."
Bobbins Bicycles of Islington, founded in 2007, is a quirky bike shop, selling Dutch roadsters, tweedy spats and bowler hat helmets. It was chosen by Yell.com to be a featured shop on Yell.com’s ShopView, and – despite what was said above about no need for HD cameras – the Bobbin Bicycles owners were shot by a professional film crew. The resulting short film oozes personality.
The film – embedded below – was shot by Yell’s video production unit. Retailers can pay for this service or shoot the video themselves.
"The videos can be as home-made or as polished as each company wants. You could even shoot one on your phone," said Bottomley.
“ShopView means local businesses can make the most of all their hidden talents. Bike shops can play movie maker and decide whether to make their shop story into a drama, thriller, chiller, rom-com or reality show.”
There are 50 or so UK bike shops on ShopView already, including Sidwell Cycles, Plymouth Cycle Scene, Leith Cycle Co., and E.J Barnes.
Yell.com has a database of over two million UK business listings including 208,000 searchable advertisers.