Jeff Greenberg, 44, CEO of ShoppingList.com, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup that provides e-marketing services for brick-and-mortar retailers and manufacturers.
So e-tailing hasn't worked out the way that the most fervent dotcom evangelists promised it would. But does anyone believe that traditional retailing can ignore the Net's reach? Jeff Greenberg and his team at ShoppingList.com are trying a hybrid approach to e-tailing: helping Web users get offline and into brick-and-mortar stores. "Using the Internet for offline marketing sounds counterintuitive," explains Greenberg. "But we see it as an opportunity to affect the 98% of advertising dollars being spent in physical stores and the 98% of purchasers who shop there."
ShoppingList.com, founded in 1998, aggregates hundreds of thousands of sales and promotions from retailers such as OfficeMax, Sears, and Target. The idea is that shoppers will connect to the Internet and search through sales by brand, store, or location — and then disconnect and beat a path to their favorite stores.
Hedging the Bet
Greenberg argues that clicks-to-bricks marketing offers a powerful advantage to retailers as well as to shoppers. "We influence consumers at the moment when they're deciding to buy — and that's every marketer's dream."
Greenberg is also banking on what he calls "spiral marketing." His company has focused on building up content and partnerships in order to establish itself as the place to be on the Internet for brick-and-mortar marketers. "The more content and partnerships that we have represented on the site," he says, "the more we can attract new partners."
Are shoppers ready to embrace virtual coupon clipping? Greenberg says yes. The company's research shows that 60% of its users intended to go to a store to purchase an item that they found on ShoppingList.com.
Greenberg says that his company serves a basic emotional need: "People either love to shop, or they hate it. Either way, we're making the experience more efficient and more rewarding."
Contant Jeff Greenberg by email (Jeffg@shoppinglist.com).
A version of this article appeared in the January 2001 issue of Fast Company magazine.