March 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Gilt builds new links to shopping sites and affiliates

The popular flash-sale web-only retailer is looking outside its own e-commerce sites for help in maintaining the fast growth it has experienced since launching in 2007.

Surging past $400 million in annual online sales since launching in 2007, flash-sale web-only retailer Gilt Groupe Inc. is looking outside its own e-commerce sites for help in maintaining its brisk growth.

Gilt is letting outside software developers connect with the data behind the retailer's flash sales in hopes of creating new customer-attracting shopping applications. It's also launching an affiliate marketing program, providing fashion-related sites with the ability to earn commissions for shoppers they forward to Gilt's e-commerce sites.

"We're excited to expose data about our live and upcoming flash sales in a developer-friendly way," says John Quinn, vice president of technology, "and we're looking forward to seeing what the programming community comes up with when it comes to presenting these sales and products in new and interesting ways."

Working with Apigee, a provider of data integration services, Gilt last month made available its application programming interface, or API, letting outside software developers directly connect with Gilt's back-end data on its flash sales. Gilt's sales, such as for limited quantities of fashion apparel, home decor and travel services, typically last about 36 hours.

A software developer, for example, might develop a new web application for shopping particular types of Gilt flash sales and make the app available through download to smartphones or through a new affiliate marketing site, such as a blog site about women's fashions.

paul@verticalwebmedia.com

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