Google AdSense targeted: Shopping cool way to make money!

Summary:CEO INTERVIEW: Mpire online shopping mashup for $144 billion eCommerce opportunity.

UPDATE MAY 9, 2007: Mpire launches "Distributor Shopping Network (DSN)," Web service APIs and custom widgets with Mpire's shopping engine to "offer a custom, private-labeled shopping experience on your own site." The DSN offers Mpire's meta-shopping database of new and used products, coupons, reviews and pricing analytics, and represents listings from eBay, Amazon, Shopping.com, Walmart, and "thousands more":

Mpire: "Make money on your site: Are you a fashonista, collector-freak or tech wizard? We have just the widget for you. You choose the category and we deliver dynamic content powered by the world's most powerful pricing index. You'll look super-smart and way-cool."

Just two days ago I presented my Tumri CEO interview: Google AdSense move over? Ecommerce meets contextual ad network in Tumri Publisher

Can Google AdSense withstand the competitive heat? Stay Tuned!

Below is my recent interview of Mpire CEO.

MARCH 6, 2007: Mpire online shopping mashup for $144 billion eCommerce opportunity: CEO interview

Did you ever wish you could visit all the best shopping sites rolled into one? eBay, Amazon, Overstock, Yahoo, Shopping.com, Craigslist…and more in one place? 

Mpire.com metasearch and pricing analytics engine proclaims wish no more. The shopping “mashup” which launched last June debuts today an enhanced “universal shopping experience” and unveils its new Shopwave visual product browsing tool. 

How does Mpire aim to make waves in online shopping, a $144 billion projected opportunity by 2010 according to Jupiter Research?

I spoke with Mpire CEO Matt Hulett to get his first hand insight.

Before taking over the reigns at Mpire, Hulett was President of the corporate travel division of Expedia, Inc. He has also served as founding partner of AtomFilms and President of Atom Entertainment.

Hulett’s track record in growing interactive online entertainment and services destinations is leveraged at Mpire, where he leads a lean but focused team of 14 in striving to make shopping “fun” for consumers and lucrative for Mpire.

Hulett told me he joined Mpire last year with a vision to develop a unique shopping service blending new, auction and classifieds marketplaces with historic pricing data to enable informed consumer purchase decisions in a user-friendly and contextual way.

Mpire has raised a total of $10M in Series A and B funding to help it realize its online shopping ambitions. Investors include Ignition Partners and former eBay executive and Pay Pal angel investor Richard Rock

Mpire’s “universal shopping experience” and Shopwave enhancements are aimed at providing “everything people need to find the best deals online,” Hulett told me.

Universal Shopping Experience

Aggregation of new and auction marketplaces, pricing data, reviews, coupons and a social media widget, complementing Mpire’s existing price research data pulled from sites such as eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Gap, Shopping.com...

Reviews, Expanded Social Media: A mashup of Amazon and Epinions consumer product reviews and an expanded widget for exporting shopping information to blogs, wikis and social bookmarking sites.

Coupons & Deals: Special offers are embedded witin search results for instant savings on products from Dell, Apples, Circuit City, Travelocity…

Shopwave Browsing Interface 

A “skin for traditional shopping,” Shopwave is an experiment focusing on the use of product images versus text and lists. Instead of rows and rows of data, multiple rows of product images are shown with image scroll over options to display more detail and an average price.  Shopwave showcases examples of most popular products by Category, and Search terms.

Technology 

I asked Hulett about the development behind Mpire’s search and analytics engine. He told me that instead of utilizing traditional site crawling, Mpire leverages the Web services of online marketplaces to “deliver the broadest selection of both new and used items in real-time to our users”: 

Using a meta search philosophy, we sit in front of sites like eBay, Amazon, Shopping.com, Yahoo, Overstock and thousands more retailers offering our users a single place to shop the Web. Mpire combines our results with relevant coupons from thousands of stores for maximum savings, and package up powerful historical data trends enabling our users to see how much they should pay for the items they want.  Mpire is built on the LAMP stack and leverage AJAX and Flash on the client side to offer a rich user experience. 

Mpire leverages data driven analytics as a key competitive differentiator. Mpire analyzes over 500 million rows of data a month and presents the information in a consumer-friendly way, Hulett told me.

Business Model

Inclusion in the Mpire product database is based on a “Pay Per Click” formula. Mpire is paid on a per click basis for consumer click throughs from Mpire to specified store pages at featured retailers’ own ecommerce sites, Hulett told me. 

Mpire currently receives about 700,000 unique visitors monthly.

I asked Hulett about the click through rate of its 700,000 shoppers. Hulett is proud that Mpire shares millions of pieces of shopping information data with consumers, actual consumer click through information, however, is one piece of data Mpire prefers to keep all for itself.

Topics: E-Commerce, Amazon, Google

About

A former ZDNet blogger, Donna Bogatin is the founder of online directional media properties VIPOffers.com and UrbanSavings.com. In addition to her own ventures, Donna has been advising companies on Web-based business development since 1997, when she created and led an "Internet For Entrepreneurs" workshop for the Small Business Administra... Full Bio

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