I’m always on the lookout for groups trying to push online advertising to the next level. That’s why Adgregate's ShopAds caught my attention. Its premise is that you can complete purchases right within the ad itself. No click-throughs, no landing pages.
Most online ads still suffer from animated billboard syndrome. Providers like PointRoll and Eyeblaster, Adroit and Offermatica have allowed us to engage with customers from within the banners themselves, providing a less interrupted and more effective dialogue.
Adgregate has now taken that a step further. Now you can convert sales from right within the advertising. At first glance, it seems that book and music publishers have taken the first plunges. That’s probably a good target for ShopAds. I mean you’re probably not going to make any high-end purchases through a banner ad. But things like music or audio books, both of which you can preview within the ads, make sense. So do downloadable films or TV shows. All of the above assume some prior knowledge of the product.
Which raises the question: What else would you buy through a banner? Clothes? Not likely. Electronics? Probably not. Ringtones? Absolutely.
I think ShopAds might even be a boon for non-profits, if they could ever figure out a way to use them. Properly placed, with the right message, might increase their fund-raising opportunities. Think about a relief fund ShopAd next to news about Katrina or the Sunami.
Last month, TechCrunch 50 named ShopAds as one of its finalists. It will be interesting to see who starts using this in a significant manner.
What would you buy through an online ad?