Coremetrics, WebSideStory Debut New Offerings

Simplicity is the hallmark of new releases touted by two Web analytics firms, Coremetrics and WebSideStory, this week, both of which aim for greater ease of use.

Coremetrics is creating a new version of its Online Analytics 2004, which debuted in 2003. Meanwhile, WebSideStory simplified its current enterprise analytics offering, HitBox, and re-christened it HBX.

The new version of Coremetrics’ product makes it easier for firms to track and measure which form of marketing, such as paid search, affiliate links or email, is responsible for sales.

Instead of a traditional spreadsheet with numbers, the hosted product uses LIVEview, an overlay on a Web page with information such as clickthrough rates, conversions and sales posted directly atop each link. This simplified user interface comes as a browser plug-in clients will download, and is a new feature.

The existing Marketing Management Center, the reporting hub of the analytics product, has also been revamped. The center now breaks out separately the marketing vehicle that led the customer to the site immediately before a sale was made.

“This prevents customers overpaying for marketing campaigns. Otherwise, they might conceivably pay four different marketing sources for referrals when only one drove the sale,” said Brett Hurt, Coremetrics’ chief architect. Hurt said the major objective of the new release is making the system simpler and easier to use.

Though simplicity is the overall goal, updates of some other features offer more sophisticated capabilities, such as more detailed views of the information LIVEview provides.

The new release will be beta-tested in March and is scheduled to ship in April. Coremetrics claims 200 customers, including big retailers such as Victoria’s Secret and Neiman Marcus.

The new HBX is aimed at improving user friendliness.

“Marketing end users tend to be technophobic,” said Ali Behnam, a product manager at the company. The new, easy-to-use features were created to appeal to the less technically inclined, he said, led by feedback from users. WebSideStory has about 500 customers including Best Buy and Cisco Systems.

The new release can be optimized for e-commerce, lead generation, advertising or customer support, Behnam said. It has more than a dozen new features, including added dashboard options measuring users’ sites against goals. Affinity reports explain additional site areas a visitor might tend to like based on which sites the user already visits, such as sports aficionados also favoring the auto page.

The new features also include an internal search analysis option showing which searches end in purchases and which do not. HBX can also report on which links got clicks that convert.

This is not the first time the venerable WebSideStory, founded in 1996, has simplified its offerings. In August of last year, the company debuted HitBox Enterprise 9.0, vowing to deliver simple, relevant and real-time features.

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