RealTime IT News

Analyzing Consumer Activity Leads to Sales

Successfully analyzing customer behavior is the key to profitability for any e-business platform.

Proflowers.com, an online florist, is confidant about the gift items that sell best on key holidays. Meanwhile, Skechers.com, a footwear provider, says it is on top of which shoes best appeal to its online clientele.

The inside track, they say, is HitBox Enterprise, a service that supplies detailed statistics on large numbers of visitors and measures the marketing return on investment.

"The HitBox Service has provides us with benefits that can be applied to our marketing efforts as well as information technology applications," said Chris D'Eon, vice president of marketing at proflowers.com.

"By using this product, we get to know what is purchased as well as the number of page views per product and the number of orders per visitor. We also know how many customers used our site for Valentines Day, Mother's Day, Easter, you name it," he said.

"This sort of information helps the IT department in gauging the number of servers per holiday and lets the marketing department know which items should be featured for optimum holiday sales," D'Eon said. "The HitBox service also tells us whether visitors are cookie-enabled, what screen size they have and whether they have Java plug-ins. This knowledge is important in setting up a Web site that works best with our customers."

Skechers.com uses the product to analyze visitors activities and purchasing behavior, according to Geric Johnson, vice president of direct marketing services.

"We have more than 900 shoes in 360 styles," he said. "By tracking visitor activity, we are able to feature the shoes that get the best response from our customers. Even better, is that the software allows us to group the content, so we see patterns in buying products for adult males and females as well as children.

"We also track their navigational paths to see if we can streamline the Web site's setup," he said. "As we review click patterns, we modify content to accommodate to satisfy the customers. For instance, based on the data from this product, we have moved hot buttons and made things easier for the consumer to find.

"This is a solution that gives us information and points us toward opportunities that already existed," he said.

WebSideStory, a San Diego, Calif.-based provider of Internet intelligence for ebusiness, is the brains behind the HitBox service.

"Unfortunately, many companies are using outdated measurement technologies that cannot adequately analyze these sharp increases in traffic. Our product can help track the effectiveness of advertising, ecommerce and editorial content," said Meyar Sheik, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for WebSideStory.

Putting its money where its mouth is, the company is offering a special Super Bowl promotion in which a limited number of Web sites will receive a 30-day, discounted-price trial of the product.

"Big events offline make for big traffic spikes online," Sheik said. "We want to allow a limited number of companies to experience the power of our Web analysis service so they can accurately assess their return on Super Bowl-related investments in real time."

The limited offer is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.