September 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

Co-op database helps reach shoppers when they’re hot to buy

With a cooperative database of online shopping behavior from more than 500 e-commerce sites, online marketers are boosting sales with targeted display ads offering what segments of shoppers are currently looking for, Akamai Technologies says.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

With a cooperative database of online shopping behavior from more than 500 e-commerce sites, online marketers are boosting sales with targeted display ads offering what segments of shoppers are currently looking for, says database provider Akamai Technologies Inc.

The database, which uses anonymous shopping behavioral data from its contributing web sites, represents nearly every product category sold online and an estimated $13.5 billion in quarterly consumer spending, Akamai says.

The database supports Akamai’s ADS predictive segments service, a part of the company’s Advertiser Decision Solutions line of products. The ADS predictive segments service uses built-in predictive modeling based on actual purchase data to match targeted online ads with shoppers determined to be currently in-market for a particular type of product, says Margaret Rivera, Akamai’s industry marketing manager for e-commerce. “If someone is shopping for a gym bag, we can serve them an online ad for one,” she says.

Akamai notes that there are about 30 million in-market online shoppers at any given time that marketers can approach with targeted online ads. “When a shopper is in-market, he or she performs five times more shopping sessions, initiates eight times more shopping carts, and is six times more likely to make an online purchase than when she’s not in-market,” Rivera says.

Although Akamai is not free to name the marketers using the cooperative database and the ADS predictive segments service, it notes that an apparel e-retailer within the top 60 retailers listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide used the service to drive 12.5% of online transactions in the fourth quarter of last year, which was also when Akamai launched the service.

Another e-retailer, a toy merchant within the top 100 in the Top 500 Guide, used the service in last year’s fourth quarter to drive 8% of online transactions, Akamai says.

To distribute targeted ads through the ADS predictive segments service, online marketers work with Akamai’s acerno ad network. Akamai’s fees are set on a cost-per-action basis, requiring client marketers to pay only for actual transactions.

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