Interpublic Agency's Adgregate Deal Influences Facebook Commerce App

wongIPG Emerging Media Lab has inked a deal with Adgregate Markets that will enable the Interpublic Group Mediabrands business unit to influence the development of a Facebook commerce platform scheduled to debut in April.

The strategic partnerships announced Friday give IPG Emerging Media Lab agency execs and its clients sway into features and functions that Adgregate will build into ShopFans for Facebook to capture time with the millions of Facebook members that frequent the site. In fact, on average, Facebook users spend seven hours monthly in the site -- up 10% sequentially, according to the Nielsen Co.

Adgregate's social commerce application built for Facebook will follow the launch later this month of SecureAds, a secure platform to make transactions for distributed commerce sites, developed with guidance from MaAfee and TRUSTe.

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The partnership will give advertisers secure product catalog and cart interactions, dwell times and rates, add-to-cart and abandonment rates, and sales conversions in rich media display ads, social network apps, mobile ads and apps, and Web widgets.

Adgregate has been working on building these platforms and the technology in them for about two years. There are many patents embedded in each. SecureAds trials have been underway for the past six months.

As the Internet grows up, ecommerce transactions will move outside branded Web sites and into social networks and ads. More commonly, ecommerce transactions will live on the "edge of the Internet," says Henry Wong, chief executive officer at Adgregate. "These transactions can happen in social networks or mobile and online display ads."

Although a nascent market, social shopping allows consumers to sign in to a brand's official sponsored page in Facebook and click on a shop tab that takes the person to a store within an i-frame widget to make ecommerce purchases without having to leave the social network. Alvenda and Resource Interactive offer similar solutions.

And while technology companies offering social commerce services today tout secure ecommerce transactions, Wong doesn't believe the platforms are secure enough to convince consumes to make purchases through social networks. Today, transaction data gets transferred through an SSL secure socket layer directly back to a merchant gateway. If that were the only solution available, he says Adgregate's security partners would "barf all over that solution."

Interpublic has already announced a major push into the retail media space through its Mediabrands agency, calling the initiative "Retail 3.0." The agency hired former Home Depot chief marketing officer John Ross as president of its retail practice. IPG's Retail 3.0 initiative sets the stage for the next generation of consumer purchasing trends and the role that media technology, from mobile to social media, will have on marketing strategies.

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