Tel Aviv company aims to capitalize on trend toward ad monetization of retail sites.
Advertisers looking to reach consumers at the digital point of purchase have a new tool in the Shoppers Audience Network, an ad network consisting exclusively of retail Web sites.
WinBuyer, the Tel Aviv-based company best known for its namesake price-comparison website, officially launched the network today with about 300 sites, including Overstock.com and Bidz.com. Advertisers so far include Dell and HP. WinBuyer boasts an audience of about 35 million U.S. unique visitors per month.
Eyal Keren, WinBuyer's VP of business development and marketing, said WinBuyer launched the network after hearing many of its retail clients express interest in further monetizing their sites with display ads.
"We saw that monetization is becoming a trend in the retail space, and a lot of our retailers have been asking for this," he said.
WinBuyer is hoping that advertisers will be lured by the opportunity to reach consumers just as they are reaching for their wallets. "We go to advertisers and offer them the opportunity to be in front of consumers at point of sale, before they make a purchase," Keren said.
Advertisers on the new network can buy space on a specific site or choose from a number of vertical categories, including electronics, jewelry, office supplies, health and beauty, tools, and media.
Of course, online retailers might be wary about giving other marketers access to their customers just as they are about to make a purchase. But Keren said that WinBuyer had set up protections to make sure that retail advertisers couldn't buy space on the sites of their direct competitors.
"We're not going to put a Best Buy ad on Overstock.com," he said. But WinBuyer would not prevent an advertiser like Dell from buying ad space on a computer retailing site, even though Dell sells direct to consumer.
WinBuyer is funded by private investors. In November 2009, the company received $6.9 million in series A funding from Pitango Venture Capital and Giza Venture Capital.
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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