Meet ProGrids: Product Recommendation Engine for Fashion Merchants

By Tinuiti Team

For fashion and beauty merchants, advertising on premier fashion blogs, typically where shoppers are actively looking for new things to try, is a valuable method of offering targeted products to an interested audience.

ProGrids is a direct result of the innovation of native advertising. Focusing on the niche of fashion and beauty merchants/brands, ProGrids is a way of capitalizing on the ultra-dynamic and active fashion industry by displaying relevant product recommendations in a native format.

Let’s hear from ProGrids’ Jake Chapman on the power of native product recommendations.

Describe ProGrids in 50 words or less.

jake-chapman-progrids-product-recommendation-engineJake: ProGrids is a fashion-focused product recommendation engine for the content web. The ProGrids unit is placed on premium fashion and beauty content sites and dynamically matches products from the merchants we work with to article content using our proprietary algorithm.

Talk to us a bit about product recommendations. Where are they most effective and why are they valuable for retailers?

Jake: Most people are used to responding to product recommendations on e-commerce sites like Amazon but up until now content sites have largely been devoid of contextual product recommendations. Similarly, product listing ads (PLAs) have been seen as purely lower funnel, direct response advertising. This makes sense because PLA placement has largely been limited to comparison shopping engines, search engines, and marketplaces. There is nothing wrong with this type of advertising, it can certainly drive sales but it is limited in that it only reaches users after they have effectively made their decision on what to buy and often from whom.

progrids-product-recommendation-engineAt ProGrids we believe that the traditional limitation on the placement of product ads to direct response advertising has meant that retailers have missed out on an opportunity to use their strongest brand assets, their products, to reach out to new users and begin influencing shoppers at the top of the purchasing funnel.

Our unit directly addresses this need by getting an advertiser’s products in front of users who have a demonstrated interest in fashion but who are still at the browsing and engagement stage of the process. In effect, we combine the new user outreach of display advertising with the higher engagement of search marketing or PLAs.

How can ProGrids benefit a retailer?

Jake: Depending on what retailers are looking for, a campaign with ProGrids can provide several benefits including: (1) exposure to new users, (2) increased affinity between fashionistas and your brand, (3) more traffic to your site and (4) increased sales. Our account managers work with advertisers to optimize campaigns for the advertiser’s priorities.

Here is how it works: When an advertiser works with us, we take their product feed and we make sure that we show the right product at the right time to the right user. This highly targeted matching drives users directly to our advertiser’s landing page or product page.  Additionally, showing targeted products in connection with your brand name drives home for the users that your brand sells the types of products they love. We reinforce this connection with the users over time and across multiple sites, helping brands to create new loyalists.

What is ProGrids’ target market?

Jake: First and foremost our target market is fashion and beauty merchants, including department stores, marketplaces, and brands. We’ve built a network of almost 500 publishers, all of whom are fashion and beauty focused and that is where we feel we can offer the most value to our advertisers. We are experiencing exponential growth and eventually may be able to help other verticals but for now, our focus is really on the fashion community.

In terms of merchant size, it helps to have a larger product catalog so that there are more chances for your products to be relevant. As a startup ourselves, we understand and would love working with smaller retailers but if all a merchant sells is tie dyed jean shorts, it’s much harder to get them exposure.

When it comes to cost we try to be as flexible as possible. Our goal is to be a valued partner to our merchants and to that end we try to understand where our advertisers need to be in terms of cost of marketing. That said, we strongly recommend initial campaigns start with a $0.10 cpc and a $500 budget. These minimums give us the opportunity to begin optimizing an advertiser’s campaign.

What do typical results look like for a client and in what timeframe?

Jake: Depending on the specific needs and systems of a retailer, we can generally have a campaign up and running within 24 hours.

We are growing at a pretty staggering rate these days so I hate to give any concrete numbers when they’ll be out dated by next week. That said, we can field campaigns of millions of monthly ad impressions today. Our click through rate, though highly variable by publisher and advertiser, routinely and substantially outperforms what we have seen on the Facebook Ad Exchange and the Google Display Network. When it comes down to ROI, we really work with each merchant individually so that they can hit their cost of marketing targets while still driving the traffic, new users and brand recognition they need.

At the end of the day, we are looking to build long term partnerships and so our focus is on driving as much value to our advertisers as possible.

Where do we sign up?

Jake: The easiest way to get started is to contact Paul, our lead sales representative, at [email protected] or to visit us here. Thanks!

About Jake: 

Jake Chapman, is one of ProGrids’ leading evangelists. As the business development lead for ProGrids, Jake is responsible for helping to bring fashion merchants together with top fashion publishers. While totally lacking in all personal fashion sense, Jake is confident that ProGrids can completely change how fashion and technology work together.

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