One way to make money off of your own popular blog is to display ads, but another is to offer relevant products to visitors to the site. They are still ads, but may be more successful in generating sales as they encourage visitors to go ahead and make purchases that they may have already been pondering. Lithuanian-founded Inside Warehouse looks to offer bloggers greater tools in monetizing the traffic that they draw to their sites.
According to co-founder Tadas Deksnys, this startup is essentially a logical continuation of his first project, which was an online community for pet owners. Back in 2007, Deksnys and his wife got a dog and sought out tips for caring for it. Not finding a suitable forum, they created their own and built it into the largest the pet-focused online community in the Baltics with 50K users. Before selling the site this year, they had begun to implement tools for selling pet-oriented products through service and decided that this represented a promising outlet for e-commerce retailers. Together with co-founder Justin Taruska, he decided that the next step would be to create a business that allows people to profit off of their web traffic.
The service itself is a widget that publishers can put on their site. Clicking on the widget opens up a window within the same page and allows users to go ahead and buy items relevant to the rest of the content on the page. Inside Warehouse is free to publishers, but takes a commission from the sellers of the products purchased. Sellers pay a commission on each item sold and then 70% of that money goes to the publisher and 30% goes to Inside Warehouse.
Deksnys and Taruska told me over a call that the startup is backed by $320K in seed funding from BIP Group. Even though they are are currently based out of Lithuania, the company is focused on the American market and actually intends to move to the United States in the near future. With their suppliers and customers located in the United States, moving from Europe seems like a logical move. Deksnys says that the service currently reaches 274K unique visitors through publishers.
In the American market, Inside Warehouse will face off against Shoppable. The difference between the services is that the former requires publishers to manually add products, while Inside Warehouse automatically selects relevant items to display.