how alienware drove higher conversion rates

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Omniture Site Catalyst.

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  • 1. Conversion challenge Improving conversion is an ongoing challenge for online retailers, who often have a difficult time interpreting the wealth of data available to them in an J.actionable way."The average conversion rates are anywhere from 2 to 3 percent; in otherLE words, 97 out of 100 visitors arent con- verting," says Matt Belkin, Omnituresvice president of best prac- Ctices. "How do retailers fix that? How do they im- TI prove it? Web analytics guides customers in that de- ARcision process, enabling them to un- derstand how different areas like inter- nal search or category browsing con-BY KAREN M. KROLLtribute to the business. It also shows, il there was an improvement in a specific GE iven the vast amount of money poured into building and marketing e- area, what that improvement would likely yield in the future."R commerce websites, .its understand- Alienware uses web analytics to exam- able that retailers would want as ine the types of marketing vehiclesthatU35 percent annual growthin unique visitors much information as possible about the sites attract customers to the site, as well asRecord online holidaycustomers, sales and performance. When that how they move through the site and ul- ATsalesretailer conducts most of its business online, site timately make purchase decisions. Hav-Highly-targeted remarket-analytics become even more critical, particularly ing this information strongly influencesing campaigns driving asmuch as $3 per deployed" where conversion rates are concerned. Alienwares overall strategic direction, FEe-mail as well as its marketing decisions. ForDeep insight into Miami-based Alienware, a manufacturer and retail-example, understanding the behavior ofcustomers and theirbehaviors er of high-performance desktop, notebook, mediaa customer who responds to a print adReal-time reporting thatcenter, server and professional computer systems,versus that of a returning visitor re-FiQlproves decision-transacts approximately 85 percent of its business on- sponding to an e-mail marketing mes-makingline. As the nine-year-old company grew from two sage allows Alienware to frame its mes- OImproved e-mail childhood friends tinkering with ways to supercharge sage appropriately for each customer.paign execution and sisordinary PCs for optimal gaming use into a $173 mil- To collect Alienwares site analytics,lion global business, so did Omnitures SiteCatalyst places a small ANthe need for a sophisticated web analytics solution. piece of code on each page of its site;that"As we grew and scaled, it became more impor- web tag collects only the informa-tant to really understand what our customers were tion Alienware specifies. As con-sumers navigate through the site,SClooking for and what kind of behavior they weredemonstrating when they came to the brand," sayseach successive page view is cap-director of e-commerce and demand generationtured by Site Catalyst - as isBillBrown. "We look at every visitor as an oppor- where they go upon leaving thetunity to establish a lifetime relationship, first ac-site, which can often indicate toquiring them as a prospect, converting them intoAlienware whether a consumer isa paying customer for one of our products, thencomparison shopping.up-selling and cross-sellingthem, making sure allIWeb analytics allows Alienwarealong that were satisfying their needs, wants andto test ideas against various seg-desires." ments of visitor traffic in real timeTo accomplish that objective,Alienware turned to- ideas that can be as big as where one of the pioneers of on-demand web analytics to invest advertising funds or astechnology, Orem, Utah-based Omniture.small as changing the placement or80 STORES / MARCH 2006 WWW.STORES.ORG...

2. WEB ANALYTICSwording of a button on the site. Using the data"As we cater to very discriminatingwarehousecustomers in a highly competitive mar- In addition to Site-ketplace, any change in conversion rateCatalyst, Alienwarecan be material," says Brown. "Driving uses Omniture Dataeach additional transaction has a direct Warehouse to mine theimpact on our top and bottom lines, so analytics data and pullwe look at visitor traffic in a very de- out figures based on specif- LEtailed way to make sure our advertisingic parameters. Whereas Site-investments are being optimized, thatCatalyst is a platform of sum-theyre driving the right kinds of traffic marized data, Data WarehouseCand theyre improving over time."provides more specific informa-Additionally, web analytics can indi-tion.record holiday season for Alien-TIcate the effectiveness of various site ware, including several days that experi-functions to the retailer; for example, it enced year-over-year sales gains greatercan show whether the internal searchEFFECTIVEthan 100 percent.ARfunction is helping customers find what WEB ANALYTICSthey want and which search terms are Analyzing resultsconverting best, so the retailer can re-can show whether Using Site Catalyst and Omnitureconfigure its home page to feature thoseinternal searchData Warehouse has helped Alienwareitems more prominently. Conversely,if a search term isnt con- is helpingcustomers findEnot only to improve its conversion rate, but to define it.Rverting at all, site analytics gives the re- "A lot of web marketers say their sitetailer an opportunity to learn the cause, what they/conversion rate has gone up and thats U such as a lack of product selection or aprobably true, but the devil is in the de-"" want ,," """,,,/. tails," says Brown. "When you look at broken link, and fix it.AT a premium Alienware system, perhaps Understanding aban- costing thousands of dollars, its not asdonment is a key busi- simple as the overall conversion rate be- FEness function for Alien- cause you need to be able to drill down ware, as many of theseby product and sku level to see where prospects may be very your success and opportunities for im- closeto a purchase deci-provement lie. "Omniture allows us to drill down be- F sion. Through Omni- tures relationship withyond this potentially misleading top-lineO the online advertisingstatistic and into conversion by product, and marketing firmand to find the key entry points into the DoubleClick,Alienware sales cycle and where exit rates occur," AN can launch an e-mailsays Brown. "remarketing"cam- Overall, Alienware has experienced paign to that group to35 percent annual growth in unique vis-re-engage with themitors since it began working with Ornni-SCand bring them back.ture three years ago. "What it addsforinto the sales funnel., us is the ability to take a real-time snap-"Were able to see whereshot of our business and to understand"Retailers often organize a multitudethe abandonment pages are, and usinghow our customers are experiencing theof different categories hierarchically," Data Warehouse and DoubleClickbrand, how theyre transacting with itBelkin says. "If you just start looking at DARTmail, were able to pinpoint whoand to make informed decisions thatwhat categories youre showing on thecame through on a unique user basis sohave resulted, and continue every day tohome page versus what categories are we can remarket to them," Brown says. result, in improved transaction figures,"actually converting and drivingthe mostOne such remarketing campaign, con- Brown says.StORESrevenue, youd be shocked at how manyducted during the 2005 holiday season,retailers have poor category organiza- resulted in more than $3 in revenue for Karen M. Kroll is a business writertion on their home page."every e-mail sent and contributed to a based in Minnetonka, Minn. 82 STORES I MARCH 2006 WWW.STORES.ORG ~