Merchandising Avenue Inc. is preparing to launch what it is touting as a new way to do affiliate marketing. With the Merchandising Avenue system, content sites become affiliate marketers for e-retail sites. Merchandising Avenue uses human merchandising experts to offer five retail goods in conjunction with the particular content of a site. So, for instance, if the site provides a story about golfing, Merchandising Avenue merchandisers will choose five golf-related items to feature at that story. Computers will monitor which items sell the best or have the highest level of reader interest and will feature that product more often than the others. "We've hired merchandisers who have real world experience," says Phil Trubey, CEO. "They know what people are interested in and we invest a lot of effort in making sure they always know what's hot." Merchandising Avenue has agreements with 100 merchants, including The Sharper Image, eBags and Amazon. Beta testers of the concept included the She Network and the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper. Trubey, founder of WebSense, the Internet monitoring software, expects to have agreements with 250 merchants soon.
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