Super Coups Partners With BuyItOnline, Expands Online Services

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Cooperative mailer Super Coups has partnered with the soon to be launched Internet mall BuyItOnline to offer online coupons and other services that will enable local advertisers to promote outside their geographic areas and cater to consumers who prefer to shop in cyberspace.


Super Coups, Avon, MA, had already offered consumers the ability to print coupons from its Web site, www.supercoups.com, for physical redemption with local advertisers. The new partnership sets up an additional system of virtual coupons that are accessible at its site and through banner ads and can be redeemed for purchases at BuyItOnline. Michael Clebnik, chief operating officer of BuyItOnline parent Stumpworld Systems, Allston, MA, said the site will launch Jan. 1.


Super Coups also will offer its advertisers a turnkey solution to establish an online storefront at BuyItOnline with the Stumpworld software Online Merchant. Stumpworld will also provide Web hosting, promotion, order fulfillment and customer service through its own call center.


The partnership is being promoted with an insert in the Super Coups co-op envelope that will reach 50 million households in 1999. The two Web sites, all promotions and coupons will be co-branded.


BuyItOnline, which previously functioned as a search engine for e-commerce sites, has already recruited 150 merchants for its Internet mall with an e-mail campaign offering a free storefront and three months free Web hosting to its database of 3,700 past online merchants.


Super Coups CEO Don McKenzie said online couponing is a product extension in his company's mission to serve as a marketing consultant to clients. Co-op participants can conduct integrated campaigns that include local direct mail and DRTV promotion, online coupons and now an online store.


"The typical co-op direct mail program is designed for a saturation mailing in a local region,'' McKenzie said. "Now we can do a print promotion in San Diego for a gourmet food company in Newton, MA, to drive traffic to an online store.''


Co-op participants have an advantage over merchants with only a Web presence, McKenzie said, because they can drive traffic through mail as well as online promotion.


A consumer surfing the Web can obtain coupons by clicking on a banner ad for a merchant that will contain a discount offer and a link to its storefront at BuyItOnline or by visiting the SuperCoups site, selecting coupons and then linking to BuyItOnline. Banner ads will be placed on sites that match the merchant's products. The mall is configured to let the consumer take a shopping cart from various storefronts to a single check out counter.


Clebnik said the cooperative nature of BuyItOnline enables it to offer merchants low rates on banner ads and the ability to purchase them in smaller quantities than online ad placement firms require.
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