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e-Combanner launches on GoErie.com

Alisa Cromer
Lighting Concepts's own store on the Sun Journal.
Check-out technology at work.
The check-out page is a pop-up, so the visitor never leaves the original site.
"Ski Buckets" gift certificates are easy to sell, since and can be sent through standard mail.
The ad (central) can reside on the client's own site, in this case Lost Valley Ski Resort.

Update: LCE's E-commerce banners are now being marketed primarily to Facebook users, rather than media companies.

This company is an unusual example of a local merchant turned advertising software provider. Founders Mitch and Ray DeBlois own a wholesale/retail lighting store, Lighting Concepts, in Lewiston, Maine.

They built their web site using Flex and Flash software purchased from Adobe, then for lack of a compatible e-commerce solution, built an e-store as well (the third partner, Barclay Layman is LCE's  CTO). Ultimately the E-combanner is a “shrink-wrapped” version of this store – allowing three to five products to be displayed, purchased and shipped from the banner ad.

LCE's first partner was the Sun Journal, and it now has two more media companies in beta including GoErie.com, one of the better newspaper/broadcast sites that has been a consistent early adapter. The second company is a major west coast newspaper  site. 

GoErie.com  has launched the banner to sell its own branding products - buttons, t-shirts and coffee cups  - thereby creating some sales metrics and provide a visual example for local advertisers. 

The business model is subcscription-based; LCE charges $899 per month for a package of ten banners per a single URL. The ads can also be served across Google content networks.

Wayne Burkholder, VP of Business Development, says he expects the first takers for the ads to be small businesses expanding their "store fronts" during prime purchasing seasons.

The first customers at Sun Journal was Lost valley Ski Resort which used the banner to sell “ski bucks,”  gift certificates for ski lifts and other items at the resort. The orders were taken via the banner ad, and then the  “ski bucks” were delivered by mail. According to Burkholder, the advertiser sold a total of $4000 to $5000 worth of business through the e-combanner, its first ever e-commerce sales.

“Before it had nice informational site. It would not surprise me if they didn’t sell some of their ski equipment this year,”  Burkholder says.  

The order management is handled through Google or PaPal checkout,  including shipping options through Fedex, UPS and the U.S. postal services.

Burkholder says the unique value proposition for consumers is instant gratification; the ad provides a pop-up impulse purchase, which can be executed in just five clicks. 

Prime candidates include golf courses, and events. "Think about about community sports groups that are trying to sell tickets ... They can just put the event up and let people pay for tickets with PayPal."

If you are interested in this service, contact LCE  here.

Alisa Cromer

The author, Alisa Cromer is publisher of a variety of online media, including LocalMediaInsider and  MediaExecsTech,  developed while on a fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and which has evolved into a leading marketing company for media technology start-ups. In 2017 she founded Worldstir.com, an online magazine,  to showcases perspectives from around the  world on new topic each month, translated from and to the top five languages in the world.

ecombanner, deblois, barclay layman, review, sun journal, buckholder,