What a bargain!

15Dec07

The face of the web marketing is changing. Users are becoming blind to conventional advertising (though my Grandfather still believes it when it says his screen tells him “You win the prize for being the 10 millionth visitor!”). Companies are realising the need to utilise its members in order to generate more sales. A great example of this would be Amazon’s recommended lists produced by fellow shoppers. Just 3 short years ago another web company spotted the decline in income from standard ‘banner’ advertising and created an entirely user-run entity known as HotUKDeals.

HotUKDeals is a web community which exists to allow people to share information, unsurprisingly, about Hot UK Deals. An example deal can be found here. Users can then rate the deal Hot or Cold – with the hottest deals going onto the homepage, while all other deals remain in the forum area of the site. Although not selling any products directly, HotUKDeals generate their revenue from affiliate links which are automatically placed where possible in the deals posted. If a deal is posted for Play.com, for example, the URL would be recognised and replaced to include an ID tag which will let Play.com know where the sale originated from.

The concept of sharing deals is, of course, not new to many of us. I am quite certain at some point we all have been informed of a great product at a great price by a friend. But by harbouring the technologies available and identifying what the public wants, HotUKDeals has created a VERY profitable website (the site currently attracts anywhere up to 7,000 users online at any one time).

The site does have potential drawbacks, however. Occasionally people submit voucher codes or link to deals which are illegal. An recent example of this happening is the posting of a code exclusively for use by NHS staff. In that particular instance the code was removed without any action from the retailer it was attached to. However, there have been reports of some companies who HotUKDeals links too seeking compensation after voucher codes where made public by the HotUKDeals community.

Other websites who formally relied on ‘banner’ advertising are also now taking note of HotUKDeals rapid rate of success and moving away from banners to concentrate on more personal adverts. Contextual text-adverts are one of the key emerging technologies from the past 5 years as far as webmasters are concerned. The ads read the content of a page and provide users with adverts which match what is on the screen. The idea being the user will be far more interested than a standard banner which displays the same image no matter what the page. Unlike the Beacon project (discussed last time), contextual text-ads do not invade your privacy as although they are displaying ads relevant to you, they are not using your own personal details to generate them.

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One Response to “What a bargain!”

  1. Guess what? Your blog is amazing! I can’t remember when was the last time i’ve overcome such a good blog that almost all articles/posts were interesting and wouldn’t regret spending my time reading it. I hope you will keep up the great work you are doing here and i can enjoy my everyday read at your blog.


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