Coremetrics Offers Profitability Reporting

Players in the site metrics and analysis space continue adding new features, as Coremetrics becomes the latest to introduce new features aimed at helping e-commerce marketers better target profitable customers.

The just-released enhancements to the Burlingame, Calif.-based company’s flagship Marketforce product works by pulling product cost information from clients’ product databases, in addition to pricing and availability information.

Calculating a margin on the product, the system determines how profitable a particular sale has been for the site. In aggregate and in conjunction with Marketforce’s LIVE profiling tool, the data can be used to indicate which products, marketing channels, promotions and customer segments are most profitable for the seller.

It’s a relatively common-sense way to establish a highly sought-after metric. Most e-commerce analysis products generally focus on revenue, rather than profitability — despite the fact that, “your highest revenue customers … may be no where near your most profitable customers,” said Coremetrics Chief Executive Scott Kauffman.

“Every retailer tracks very closely the cost for each item, so every retailer has this information already in electronic form,” Kauffman said. “We’ve made it very easy to attach it.”

Such solutions would appear to benefit not just pure-play e-tailers, but also cross-channel marketers struggling to quantify and justify their Internet investments.

“Retailers have been stuck,” said Chi-Hua Chien, Coremetrics’ director of marketing. “We can now help them attribute bottom-line impact of their marketing campaigns and do customer segmentation. Now the Web can actually contribute strongly and favorably to multi-channel environment from a bottom-line perspective.”

The news comes on the heels of WebSideStory’s latest release of its HitBox Professional ASP last week. New features in the service are designed to give greater detail on browse-to-buy ratios and how different sales channels compare in terms of revenue.

The two product releases are only the latest developments in the increasingly competitive online analytics market, as players seek to position their services as indispensable research tools for e-commerce marketers.

In June, NetIQ released a new version of its WebTrends Reporting Center software, designed to make it easier to track visitor behavior. Later in the month, Web ad giant DoubleClick unveiled its entry into the online metrics space with SiteAdvance. The company plans updates during fourth quarter that will add functions to evaluate campaign effectiveness.

A month later, Keylime Software launched an updated version of its product, featuring tools for tracking the return on interest from Web ad campaigns.

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