has released Merchant AdManager
, web-based software that works as a digital version of the end-cap displays and premium shelf space found in bricks and mortar stores.
Using the product, online retailers can monetise their site visitors as well as buyers by allowing suppliers to pay for increased visibility, either through premium placements or sort order.
The company says it developed the product in 2007 for a client that wanted to create a 'walled-garden' ad network, enabling its own suppliers to bid for premium placement within its product listings. After that project proved to be a success, the firm went on to turn it into a fully configurable product with the flexibility to handle a wide variety of on-site media models.
The product also boasts a self-service advertiser interface that includes the option of CPC or CPM bid-based pricing, which minimises the need for the retailer to invest in a sales force.
"The key is allowing suppliers to pay for premium placement in the shopping path, gaining valuable exposure to the customers, while adhering to strict relevance rules and upholding the user experience," explains Mark Kalus, product director for Merchant AdManager.
But Kalus warns "No retailer should consider introducing media that could damage the customer experience and put transactional revenue at risk," before adding a note of reassurance: "Our initial rollout for each client involves rigorous testing to ensure key metrics such as conversion rate and average order value remain unaffected by the introduction of new sponsored content." • Hooklogic will be demonstrating Merchant Admanager at Internet Retailing '09 in London on Tuesday 13 October.