Revenue Science Adds Shopping.com to Its Network

Revenue Science has added shopping search site Shopping.com and consumer review site Epinions, both owned by eBay, to its behaviorally targeted ad network, giving advertisers access to users who are actively shopping for specific products.

“The notion of bringing in a site that’s very focused on commercial intent, in very vertical areas, is going to be very exciting to advertisers,” Nick Johnson, SVP of business development and general manager of account strategy for Revenue Science, told ClickZ News.

The allure of shoppers who are further along the purchase funnel, moving from “research mode” into “shop mode,” is one in which Revenue Science’s advertisers have shown great interest, according to Johnson. The company’s automobile segments, which include visitors of auto comparison and research sites KBB.com, Edmunds.com, and Autobytel, has been one of its most successful because of its transactional nature, he said.

“Putting your ads in front of someone who’s ready to buy is obviously a very smart way to do business,” he said.

Competitor Tacoda has several e-commerce sites in its network, including Buy.com, iFilm and LiveDeal.

The addition of Shopping.com and Epinions, both high-traffic sites that were acquired by eBay last June, will also help Revenue Science boost its inventory, according to Johnson. Shopping.com sees more than 25 million unique monthly visitors, 300 million monthly pageviews and nearly one billion monthly ad impressions.

“There’s been this long-held notion that there’s an infinite amount of inventory online. While that may or may not be true, we’ve found that there is definitely a finite amount of relevant, quality inventory,” Johnson said. “Smart marketers understand the value of behavioral targeting, but the challenge has been to make it work at scale.”

Johnson said the company has so far been able to meet advertiser demands, though space in the fourth quarter did get tight. Revenue Science plans to continue to add sites to its network, which launched in April 2005, including more transactional sites like Shopping.com, to prepare for the expected crunch of the fourth quarter of 2006.

The company has also been rumored to be exploring options for adding blogs to its network, either as advertising partners or as cookie distributors, similar to Kanoodle’s BrightAds Cookies program. Johnson declined to comment on such plans, but did acknowledge that there are many sites, including blogs, that are “good aggregators of behavior,” such as the music and entertainment-focused social network MySpace, which “harness passion points.” He said visitors to those kinds of sites would be valuable to advertisers when they are separated from the original site, as they would be in a behaviorally targeted ad network like Revenue Science’s.

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