Maybe I’m not giving her enough credit, but I doubt the Etsy seller who made our new wool cat cave is an expert at building recommendation engines (she also underestimated how fat our cats are).
Even if she were, the current division of data between marketplace providers and marketplace sellers puts it all in the hands of the former group — the Etsys, Amazon.coms and Airbnbs of the world. A startup called Boostable, which is presenting its company as part of the Y Combinator Demo Day on Tuesday, wants to change that with a service that gives sellers access to some of the same targeted advertising techniques that larger companies use.
The way co-founder and CEO Selcuk Atli describes it, the process for sellers is as simple as signing up and giving Boostable their URLs within whatever marketplace they’re selling stuff. Then, when potential customers’ behavior triggers Boostable’s system, it will display that seller’s ad (currently only on Facebook) for cat caves, Airbnb rentals or whatever else they’re selling. Atli said the ad will look like it came from the marketplace itself, but will be specifically highlighting one seller’s product.