ONSALE Inc. began using a new proprietary reporting tool, “thumbprinting,” that enables the company to analyze the effectiveness of its online advertising buys in terms of customer acquisition cost and profitability.
“Before we developed thumbprinting, our online advertising decisions were based on click-through,” said Barry Peters, ONSALE’s director of consumer marketing. “Thumbprinting is a sophisticated internal marketing tool that allows us to understand, by advertising source, how visitors convert to customers and how they perform as customers subsequently. Now, we are better able to analyze our spending and maximize return on our advertising investments.”
Thumbprinting allows ONSALE to determine the cost of acquiring new customers based on the advertising source and lifetime spending habits of these customers. By analyzing online advertising in terms of the value of new buyers, not just the volume of new visitors to the site, ONSALE said it can target high-value customers while working to keep customer acquisition costs at a minimum.
ONSALE is a real-time retailer specializing in interactive auctions of merchandise and services, including personal computers, consumer electronics, housewares, sports and fitness equipment, vacation and travel packages, and specialty foods.