Shopping search engine DealTime announced on Thursday the release of its ROI Tracker, a free tool for advertisers to track their conversion and sales metrics.
With the free tool, Deal Time’s 2,200 advertisers will get a deeper understanding of how their marketing programs are performing on the search engine, which allows users to search and compare products. The ROI Tracker gives three metrics: conversion-to-click ratios, conversion-to-sales ratios, and costs of sales.
The ROI Tracker follows the trend in the search business to provide better analytics for advertisers, who have begun to make a search a major part of their online advertising programs. FindWhat.com launched an ROI tool in March to help its advertisers see the value of their search marketing programs. Overture Services, which Yahoo! has agreed to acquire, also has plans to roll out enhanced analytics capabilities this year.
DealTime points to research that says 72 percent of search marketers are not adequately tracking their search campaigns. Search has emerged as a major conduit for the e-commerce industry, as evidenced by eBay’s recent moves to cozy up with MSN.
DealTime operates as a comparison-shopping search engine, with a network of merchants who bid on placements. Pricing and placement is based on the pay-per-click model popularized by Overture and Google in the keyword businesses, with higher bids rewarded with higher placement. Merchants only pay when consumers click through to their sites.
In addition to its destination site, DealTime listings appear on the search pages of Excite and AltaVista. The company expanded its reach in March with the acquisition of consumer review company Epinions.
Last month, DealTime announced it would lower its minimum bid in an effort to encourage more retailers to try its shopping search engine.