Startup Shootout: Which startup sites are ready for holiday prime time?

With the holidays upon us, we thought we’d take a look at how ready our index startups are for two great holiday traditions – shopping and travel. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday vacations, and winter storms, these sites are about to get a workout.

shopping-mall

Online ads equal offline sales, says shopper analytics firm RapidBlue

Retailers typically measure online ads with online results: cost per click, cost per action, cost per sale. But Helsinki-based shopping analytics firm RapidBlue recently tested the effects of online ads on offline sales. And, surprisingly, it found a strong correlation: double-digit increases in both the number of shoppers and the amount of time they spent in store when stores ran Google AdWords campaigns.

DIY shoe service Shoes of Prey steps it up with $3M investment

Gals, rejoice — we’ve got a new way to buy shoes. Shoes of Prey lets you customize your shoe from the sole up with leather, sequins, suede, glitter, silk, or cotton. If you’re feeling more exotic, you can slap some genuine fish or snake skin on your new pumps. And the company just received $3 million in funding to boot (ha).