GSI Commerce acquires ClearSaleing

E-commerce service provider GSI Commerce acquired advertising analytics company ClearSaleing on January 10. Columbus, OH-based ClearSaleing will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of GSI’s global marketing services division.

The acquisition will enable GSI to help its clients accurately measure, compare and optimize profit and ROI from online advertising campaigns, said Chris Saridakis, head of GSI’s global marketing services division.

“We all know the old saying, ‘50% of my advertising works, and I don’t know what the other 50% does,’” Saridakis said. “Digitally, that shouldn’t be the case. There has to be a better way to find that success.”

Saridakis said he believes ClearSaleing will help meet this need.

“People have spent some time working on Web analytics,” Saridakis said, “but no one has addressed which different mediums are working for me now and what do I do about shifting dollars to capture ROI. ClearSaleing provided us the best, most scalable tool, and a flexible platform that fits well with our database.”

Deann Harvey, the former chief sales officer of GSI’s global marketing services division, will serve as ClearSaleing’s chief revenue officer. Her responsibilities will include building the company’s sales team and growing its client base among global advertisers and agencies. She will report directly to ClearSaleing CEO Randall Smith.

As part of this transition, Dustin Engel will become ClearSaleing’s chief marketing and strategy officer, effective immediately. He was previously chief strategy officer.

Despite Harvey’s move, ClearSaleing will be run independently from GSI. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We will have the ability to retain our autonomy, our brand and entrepreneurial spirit,” Smith said. “GSI Commerce will give us access to more than 500 clients. We also gain global reach and a much broader sales and marketing footprint.”

GSI has been on a spending spree in the past year. The company acquired retargeting firm FetchBack in June, less than a month after buying e-commerce services provider VendorNet and database marketing company MBS. Last April, GSI also acquired mobile marketing firm M3 Mobile.

“We’re always looking at things,” Saridakis said. “Assume that if there’s something out there that’s interesting, we’re looking at it.”

Petsky Prunier advised ClearSaleing on the acquisition.

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