December 29, 2009, 12:00 AM

GSI Commerce opens a marketplace that highlights retailers’ deals

Thirty retailer clients of e-commerce technology provider GSI Commerce joined forces in mid-December for an unusual promotion to all their customer lists

Last month, GSI Commerce Inc. launched an innovative, co-operative e-mail program that brought together more than 30 of the retailers on its e-commerce platform. The vendor designed the program to help its individual retailer clients battle large cross-category web marketplaces for holiday shopping dollars.

Discounts and deals in GSI’s “World’s Greatest Friends & Family Program,” which ran December 13-14, were promoted by each retailer to its customers via e-mail. The e-mails directed recipients to a special landing page on the retailer’s site that showed offers from all of the participating retailers. The offers also were posted at GreatestGifts.com.

The two-day promotion was timed around the second Monday of December, which has been called Green Monday since it is traditionally one of the largest online shopping days of the season. The co-marketing e-mail program is one of the industry’s first, says Fiona Dias, GSI’s executive vice president, strategy and marketing.

“For retailers, cooperative marketing provides a new way to compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart and other giants this holiday season,” Dais says. “Each retailer’s e-mail marketing dollars now have a larger multiplier by co-marketing to each other’s customers.” The value proposition for consumers, Dias adds, is being able to find good deals in one place across a range of companies that aren’t on other aggregated marketplaces such as Amazon.

The e-mail promotion included a social networking component encouraging recipients to forward news of the sale. The e-mails included features that enabled shoppers to easily share the link to the deals landing page via Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

mary@verticalwebmedia.com

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