Relevant View Launches, Inks NOP World

Startup Relevant View is aiming to challenge the leaders in site traffic analysis with the debut of its flagship product and the signing its first client, research giant NOP World.

Products by WebSideStory, RedSheriff, Jupiter Media Metrix and NetIQ’s WebTrends typically are used by marketers and site designers to gauge visitors’ activity on and responsiveness to their Web sites and campaigns.

But Westport, Conn.-based Relevant View believes its panel-based process not only paints a more accurate picture of site activity than do rivals, but also that it more precisely conveys users’ opinion on site design.

“It’s important to know what users are doing of a site, but also what they think of it,” said Relevant View Chief Executive Marshall Harrison. “For instance, if users are looking to find the customer service phone number, they might be able to find it in just a few clicks. We might as observers think that was very good, but they might evaluate that as frustrating, because they expected to find it on the first page. It’s important to know not just what their experience is but what they think their experience is.”

The firm’s ActiveSandbox technology works by delivering e-mails to an opted-in panel — created either by the client, or provided by a third-party, like Harris Interactive . The e-mail contains survey questions and links to a version of the client’s site that tracks clickthroughs, page views and time spent on pages. The built-in survey, delivered through pop-ups, can ask related questions.

Additionally, because the service doesn’t rely on logfiles or site coding changes, Relevant View said its tools can be used to also profile the sites of competitors, as well as Web-based applications.

While the firm houses its own market research team, Relevant View said it expects to also license the technology as an ASP to other researchers, such as its debut client NOP World, a unit of United Business Media’s and the parent of market research players including RoperASW.

Harrison also said “a number” of other market researchers and ad agencies were including Relevant View in their proposals to clients, which could translate into additional sales.

Additionally, Relevant View’s parent, Imperium, has done database and Web development for researchers including Greenfield Online and ad agency holding giant Omnicom Group , and advertisers including Johnson & Johnson and Kraft .

Yet the startup certainly has its work cut out for it, as the major players in site measurement have been making recent efforts to add new services to their product lineup — with the goal of providing a one-stop solution for Web site market research that appeals to cost-conscious marketers.

Jupiter, for instance, is a relative newcomer to the visitor- and campaign-tracking ASP business, which it rolled out in recent months to complement its core site traffic rankings and consulting services. Meanwhile, RedSheriff and NetIQ both struck partnerships with database and CRM firms to provide bundled services, while new players like interactive shop are also making inroads in the site analytics business.

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