Embedded Commerce - Boutiques
A more sophisticated form of a context-centric affiliate program is embedded commerce. This approach builds specialty "boutiques" for niche-market affiliates. All these programs have specialty pages designed for affiliates that carry only a portion of a merchant's product line. For example, Art.com provides galleries populated with specialty art for a specific market niche.
Another approach to embedded commerce is offered by WebCollage, a New York startup, which allows affiliates to embed parts of a merchant's e-commerce application right into their site. For example, instead of just offering a link to a travel merchant, affiliates can incorporate the travel reservations application itself directly into their site.
Eli Singer, WebCollage's chief executive, says their service also gives the affiliate the ability to customize certain aspects of the merchant's application to make it appear much more like it's part of the affiliate's site. "Instead of sending a user somewhere else to access an application and losing that traffic, we decided that it made much more sense to bring the application to the user," says Singer. site59.com, a last-minute travel service, uses the WebCollage service to increase its reach and visibility across the Net by embedding its application in its affiliate sites.