TrialPay Brings Advertising to the Online Checkout Line

TrialPay is bringing the concept of enticing shoppers with the latest tabloid magazine, a pack of gum or a Snickers bar from the line at the grocery store to the online checkout world.

However, there’s a twist: If you bite, you’ll also get a discount on your original purchase.

Up until now, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s offers were most likely seen by people playing Facebook games.

Through a fairly exclusive partnership with Facebook Credits, TrialPay can offer a virtual good for free if a player considers buying another deal, like a cup of Starbucks coffee or a Chipotle Mexican Grill burrito.

TrialPay’s founder and CEO Alex Rampell explains that Starbucks or Chipotle pays TrialPay for the sales lead, and TrialPay pays FarmVille. Rampell said it’s a system consumers are comfortable with, because they are often buying physical goods, rather than intangible goods.

TrialPay’s new service, which is coming out of a long beta today, is bringing these alternate payment options to the online shopping cart. The goal is to convert more sales before they are abandoned at the point of sale.

One of its guinea pigs was MediaMall Technologies, which sells online streaming TV subscription packages. It offered customers a $15 discount on its PlayOn Premium software (normally $40) in return for signing up for a particular offer.

One such offer required users to also sign up for a GameFly subscription, which sends videogame rentals to your door, or a RealPlayer SuperPass.

Rampell said MediaMall immediately saw a 10 percent increase in revenue and a dramatic increase in average order value. The increase in average order value was due to the fact that it received a bonus commission based on every in-cart offer completion.

TrialPay is calling it a hosted shopping cart because it also handles the various payment systems, including PayPal and credit cart providers, on behalf of the retailer.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work