Double Click shopping aids e-commerce

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Doubleclick is adding e-commerce to the list of services it provides to its network of Web sites and advertisers.

With today's official announcement of DoubleClick Shopping, advertisers who are also online merchants can sell products more easily through DoubleClick Network sites.

DoubleClick expects that facilitating e-commerce will attract new advertisers--luring some away from portals such as Yahoo! and Excite--while bringing in more revenue for existing advertisers, network sites and itself, said Kelly Freeman, e-commerce director.

DoubleClick drew on its core competencies--DART targeting technology, reach, content and syndication--to develop Double-Click Shopping.

The initiative ups the value of DoubleClick's ad inventory, said Evan Neufeld, director of online advertising strategies at Jupiter Communications.

'SMART PLAY'

"DoubleClick is realizing e-commerce is hot," Mr. Neufeld said. "And they want to become a full-service company, more than simply an ad network. It's a smart play for them."

Other ad networks also are trying to bolster inventory value by facilitating e-commerce.

Adsmart Network is negotiating partnerships with several companies "to offer more complete service offerings for our advertisers, including e-commerce," said John Federman, chairman-CEO. "Clearly, the role of ad networks is to become an end-to-end solution provider."

And 24/7 Media last month inked an agreement with Seattle-based e-commerce and direct marketing company ShopNow (formerly TechWave). Under the deal, 24/7 promotes ShopNow's e-commerce-enabling services to its network and ContentZone affiliates. In exchange, ShopNow promotes 24/7's ad sales and e-mail management services to its shopping network affiliates. In particular, the deal will enable 24/7 to roll out a new offering that lets advertisers sell products directly from the banner space.

"When you look at the extent of e-commerce that is likely to happen over the next three to four years--Forrester [Research] projects that by 2003 consumer e-commerce will be more than $100 billion--and when you look at the revenue potential for our company, we felt like we needed to have an e-commerce play," said David Moore, CEO, 24/7 Media.

As part of its e-commerce initiative, DoubleClick, with the help of Redmond, Wash.-based InfoSpace, an aggregator of content and directory services, is building branded online stores linked to each network site, increasing inventory available to advertisers. DoubleClick is also requiring all network sites to integrate a "services box," which will include text links that advertisers can buy to send consumers directly to their sites.

2 OPTIONS FOR ADVERTISERS

Advertisers have two options to participate in DoubleClick Shopping.

They can become distribution partners, buying the full range of e-commerce-related ad inventory, including banners, a shopping reach button, a text link in the services box, direct e-mail to consumers, sponsorships and ad placement on the online store home page.

Shopping & Services Program soft-launched April 15; two advertisers, Las Vegas-based Travelscape and an undisclosed financial institution, already have signed multimillion-dollar, multiyear deals.

The second option is for advertisers to buy space only on the e-commerce store, Syndicated Store. This will be available within six weeks, Ms. Freeman said.

If an advertiser buys the Shopping & Services Program, it pays a cost per thousand impressions plus a percentage of sales revenue it generates through the program. DoubleClick shares this revenue with affiliate sites that carry the advertiser's ads.

For merchants advertising only on Syndicated Store, ad space is sold for a flat fee for a given quarter. DoubleClick also shares that revenue with affiliate sites, Mr. Freeman said.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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