WebSideStory Retools E-Commerce Service

WebSideStory is aiming to up the ante in the market for systems used by marketers to analyze and fine-tune their online sales operations, with the latest release of its HitBox Commerce ASP.

Version 2 of the San Diego-based firm’s enterprise-class e-tail product continues the trend among site analysis players by delivering more advanced tools for tracking and calculating return on investment.

As with the system’s previous release, HitBox Commerce gleans shopping and site activity by combining clickstream data from embedded HTML tags with purchasing activity.

The new version includes features that analyze the effectiveness of both online and offline marketing campaigns, enabling marketers to focus on channels and offers that drive revenue, order volume, and repeat customers.

“The value of this service is you can check all your marketing campaigns” at once, rather than reviewing separate data from different vendors, said WebSideStory spokesman Erik Bratt.

The system also offers more advanced tools for merchandizing. For the first time, HitBox Commerce users can see how customers combined purchases — useful in creating promotions and volume discounts. Users also can cross-reference reports to look back at what drove particular sales of a particular product — with an eye to improving sales. It also provides more advanced information on product abandonment and checkout conversion rates.

Additionally, the service offers new features that give marketers a better bird’s eye view of their e-commerce operations, providing for the tracking of more than one storefront and offering conversion funnel charts.

The news comes as WebSideStory is revamping other areas of its product line, having just released a new version of its HitBox Professional, a product focused on small- to medium-sized businesses.

That effort, in turn, comes amid growing competition among the biggest players for Web site and e-commerce analysis, who are looking to capitalize on budget-constrained marketers’ need for more comprehensive ROI-tracking tools for their Internet ventures.

In June, NetIQ unveiled new version of its WebTrends Reporting Center software, which added features including easier tracking of visitors and more extensive reporting. In July, Keylime Software launched an updated version of its product that features enhanced tools for tracking the return on interest from Web ad campaigns.

Web ad serving giant DoubleClick also recently announced its intention to enter the site metrics space with an ASP offering of its own. The company has said it plans fourth-quarter to add tools that track campaign effectiveness and e-commerce.

Earlier this month, Coremetrics debuted enhancements to its flagship Marketforce ASP that calculates a dollar figure for the margin from each product, marketing channel and visitor segment.

For its part, WebSideStory said its chief competitive differentiators stem from its focus on enterprise customers, and an outsourced model.

“The advantage we offer … is speed and ease-of-use, deeper cross-correlation, and pricing,” said senior vice president Michael Christensen.

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