April 7, 2009, 12:00 AM

Google’s DoubleClick will offer online banner ads that can close sales

DoubleClick, which provides online ad-serving technology to ad agencies and web site publishers, announced today a deal with Adgregate Markets to embed e-commerce functionality in web banner ads.

DoubleClick, a Google Inc. subsidiary that provides online ad-serving technology to ad agencies and web site publishers, announced today a deal with Adgregate Markets to embed e-commerce functionality in web banner ads.

Consumers will be able to complete a purchase without leaving the ad, using Adgregate’s ShopAds technology. The technology also can be used to add e-commerce to ads on blogs and social networks, the companies say.

“Adgregate Markets’ ShopAds are a great solution for direct response and brand response advertisers, and we are excited to work with them to bring this cutting edge technology to our clients,” says Ari Paparo, Google’s group product manager.

Adgregate Markets introduced ShopAds last year and says its technology has been embedded in more than 1 million online ads. The company lists among its clients entertainment company Warner Brothers and book publishers Random House and Hachette. Other ad-serving companies working with Adgregate include Microsoft`s AdECN, AdRoll, EyeWonder and AOL`s Platform-A, Adgregate says.

Advertisers using ShopAds pay a fee based on impressions and an affiliate marketing fee based on actions, which could include a share of revenue or a lead-generation or registration fee, Adgregate says.

The addition of e-commerce to banner ads is a continuation of a trend to overcome web users’ indifference to online ads by livening them up with video, animation and other eyecatching features, says online advertising analyst Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence.

He says ads that allow consumers to complete sales are particularly well suited to being combined with behavioral targeting, in which ads are presented based on the consumer’s online activity. “If I’m seeing an ad for TVs for the first time it’s unlikely I would engage with that ad and buy on the spot,” Sterling says. “But if I’m looking for TVs, and there’s an ad for a Sony flat-screen TV served to me because of my history, and it offers a substantial discount, I might engage and take advantage of that offer.”

This functionality will only be relevant for a small portion of online purchases, because most web shoppers are not buying on impulse, says analyst Emily Riley of Forrester Research Inc. “However, in-banner purchases are significantly more likely to occur if combined with behavioral targeting and retargeting technology,” Riley says. “For example, imagine a consumer does some product research, comes close to buying, but for some reason, leaves the site before purchasing. A retailer could easily retarget that person with a banner that offers, say, a discounted price, and provides the purchasing functionality in the banner, and see a good amount of lift from combining the two technologies.”

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