WebSideStory Launches New Version of HitBox Commerce

By Dan Muse | Posted May 08, 2003
Looking to help online retailers better identify, track and target customers, WebSideStory, a San Diego-based application service provider (ASP) that specializes in Web analytics, this week announced the launch of HitBox Commerce v3.

The new version is designed to provide more business intelligence by allowing retailers to track commerce activity on multiple Web sites and from multiple channels. For example, a retailer with an international presence could filter data for all sites, U.S.-only, U.K-only and so on. The new version is also designed to make it easier to separate offline campaigns from online promotions and analyze them individually.

WebSideStory offers services tailored for both enterprises and e-commerce companies. However, the retail service is growing quickly. "Commerce is the fastest growing segment," Michael Christian, a senior vice president at WebSideStory, said. "It's not yet [bigger than the enterprise product], but it will soon be bigger.

That growth makes sense. After all, who has more of a need to analyze online patterns than companies that live and die with online sales.

Among the features of the new version is the capability to track and market to cross channels of a customer base. For example, with HitBox v3, Christian said, retailers can extract unique customer IDs. Retailers can then use these IDs to create targeted campaigns across different channels.

Without collecting personally identifiable information, the retailers match the unique numerical IDs with their customer relationship management (CRM) profiles. "We can take customer IDs out of any report. We see this as a tactical step towards stepping on the toes of CRM — one of the main goals of CRM is to build customer lists. We now offer that reporting in real time."

Christian said the feature to extract customer IDs is accessed directly through the user interface of HitBox Commerce v3, similar to how you would export to Excel, Word, comma delimited and so on.

HitBox Commerce v3 is also designed to let retailers analyze sales activity across different channels, as well as provide an integrated view of those channels. For example, in addition to analyzing e-commerce activity on its Web site, a retailer could track sales activity from its call center.

Cross-channel campaign tracking features also have been added, Christian said, to let retailers track the effectiveness of offline campaigns in generating online sales. For example, a user could analyze the effectiveness of a television, radio or print campaign in generating sales.

The new version also features the capability to track which keywords, e-mail campaigns or offline promotions delivers the highest customer lifetime value. This allows retailer to track marketing efforts two ways, Christian said — by conversion rate and by the lifetime of the campaign.

Version 3 also now includes customizable executive dashboards and a new user interface in which menus are tailored to e-commerce functions. For example, category headings include Acquisition, Conversion, Merchandising and Demographics.

In the coming months, the company reports, it will also investigate partnerships with companies that specialize in search and content management, e-mail companies and CRM services.

Adapted from ASPnews.com.

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