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Permuto launches with new ad tools for retailers

Company is starting a service called ShopperConnect that is designed to bring search-ad effectiveness to display ads.

A company that promises the kind of success that advertisers usually see only via search launched its service Tuesday at the Shop.org conference in Las Vegas.

Permuto focuses on connecting online retailers with product-comparison sites, media outlets, and other "highly profitable" segments of the Web to help them try to sell their products more effectively. CEO and founder Shaukat Shamim asserts that the new platform will deliver the kind of return on client advertising investment that is found today only through search ads.

Permuto's flagship product is called ShopperConnect. The service tracks consumer activity on partner sites and determines their "ActiveShopper" score. According to Shamim, that score will help Permuto find the right placement for clients' ads.

"Online display advertising is a fantastic way for merchants and brands to reach their target audience, but it is plagued by poor measurability, analytics, and performance, and is traditionally low in return compared to search engine marketing," Shamim said. "The reach of online display advertising is three to four times the size of search-engine marketing, so ShopperConnect represents a huge opportunity to create significant value for our partners."

According to Shamim, the key to his company's technology rests with the ActiveShopper feature. He said it analyzes and targets online buyers with an "intent to purchase" in order to make advertising initiatives more profitable for retailers. The information is so in-depth, Shamim asserts, that his company can determine the likelihood of someone buying an individual product "down to the SKU level."

On the client side, Shamim told me that merchants that want to advertise through his company's network will have full control over the design and style of their advertising campaigns. A portal will mimic the "self-service search marketing" that has made companies like Google and Yahoo so successful. Once a design is completed, Permuto takes over and places those ads strategically across its network to target people searching for a particular product. Clients can change the ads whenever they want.