Infoseek has stolen a march on its search engine rivals by forging the first partnership in this sector with an online retailer. The company, a supplier of one of the Web's largest search engines, has signed a deal with Virtual Emporium in an effort to broaden its revenue beyond banner advertising. Infoseek's competitors, Yahoo, Excite and Lycos, are also involved in talks to form similar alliances with online retailers.
Infoseek will receive a cut of the sales it generates by driving traffic to Virtual Emporium's shopping mall, while the retailer will broaden its consumer audience. Infoseek will place merchandise offers alongside the results of search queries on its main site.
Through the Infoseek Virtual Emporium service, consumers will be able to access a selected group of the world's top online merchants through 10 shopping zones, including House & Garden, Sports & Fitness, Entertainment and Computer & Office.
The service will offer tools such as "gift picker", which identifies a list of gifts based on criteria such as gender, age and price range, and "deal monitor", which highlights unique products and seasonal specials.
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