July 1, 2011, 1:52 PM

Amazon hires an advertising technology firm for display ad pricing services

The selection of Triggit represents the retailer’s latest move in display ads.

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Amazon.com Inc. will use software from advertising technology vendor Triggit to help the retailer manage pricing for display ads shown across nine ad networks and more than 4 million web sites, Triggit said this week. While Amazon is not saying much about the deal, it could lead to Amazon offering other e-retailers targeted advertising services, one expert says. 

“We are looking forward to working with the Amazon team to hopefully bring some of the amazing innovation they have brought to e-commerce to the world of advertising,” says Zachery Coelius, Triggit’s CEO. He declines, however, to comment further on Triggit’s work with Amazon, and the retailer did not respond to requests for comment.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has not announced plans to sell display ads beyond its own web properties. The retailer, however, is hiring staff for a new ad products group, according to job listings posted on Amazon.com this spring. The jobs—for software development engineers, product managers, research managers and more—described the company’s success with display ads on its own sites and went on to say that “Amazon itself is making significant investments in display advertising across the web.”

Amazon stores a large amount of consumer data, such as browsing behavior and demographic information, and that information could help advertisers better target consumers via display ads, says Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, which helps e-retailers work with search engines, comparison shopping sites and online marketplaces. He says other e-retailers likely will be the group most interested in using such data for targeted advertisements. “The real value of the Amazon buyers is the fact that they shop online, and other retailers are who will be most willing to pay for them,” he says.

Most e-retailers might balk at providing competitors such leverage, but Wingo says Amazon already allows competitors access to its customer base, such as by letting other merchants sell their wares on Amazon.com. “I don’t think they’ll let the competitive angle stop them as they expand off Amazon,” Wingo says.

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