With e-commerce predicted to experience healthy growth this year, companies are trying to expand what consumers think to buy online. Domestic product marketplace Alice.com combines home essentials, automatic coupons and free shipp

ing to members on their Web site and on a mobile application.

CEO Brian Wiegand aims to give people an opportunity to change the way that they shop for home staples while working with consumer packaged goods marketers. Since the site is a marketplace, not a retailer, the brands that are featured on the site sell directly to customers, not to Alice.com. In his interview with eMarketer, Wiegand explains that he believes that manufacturers should be directly connected to users.

The Internet has greatly opened up the middleman role in the traditional retail experience, Wiegand saud. Alice.com offers "an open, transparent system where the manufacturer is actually the seller of record and owns the consumer information. It’s the complete opposite of the retailer’s closed-loop system."

The site itself makes money through advertising and data. Instead of display ads, it uses coupons, which the site charges a fee to the brand for applying coupons to products, as well as for a manufacturer loyalty program. The traditional advertising revenue and site sponsorship is only a small piece of their total revenue - most monetization comes from these previous functionalities.

The loyalty program provides tools for the brand to build its own loyalty program to attract customers. Alice.com gives manufacturers real time data about who bought their product as well as what other items it was bought with.

This data can be used to target potential customers also - Glad could choose to target Hefty users with a coupon. The data is available in a non-personally available way for targeting. This data-targeted method is more effective than traditional "pray and spray" couponing that yields comparatively low return on investment, according to the interview.