March 21, 2001, 12:00 AM

FireClick helps Art.com speed up downloads and increase sales

Art.com, which relies on heavy graphics to sell posters and other artwork online, has seen a 10% increase in conversion rates after implementing FireClick`s NetFlame predictive caching service. Predictive caching tries to stay a step ahead of the user.

Art.com, which relies on heavy graphics to sell posters and other artwork online, has seen a 10% increase in conversion rates after implementing FireClick`s NetFlame predictive caching service, says Dennis Sage, director of development at Art.com. FireClick’s strategy is to stay one step ahead of the user: “What we figured out is this technology called predictive caching,” says Steve O’Brien, FireClick`s vice president of marketing. “We’re using the cache in the end user’s browser to preload what we think the user will download next.”

Using predictive algorithm models, which the company builds by keeping stats on web page requests, FireClick’s service can understand what people will likely download next and have it stored in advance on their own browser cache. “This way the end user experiences a faster connection,” O’Brien says. “It makes a huge difference,” in allowing a user to bring up subsequent pages, Sage says.

For example, if a customer is looking at Picasso prints, the FireClick service will already be downloading the next series of Picasso material for the user to easily access. Sage says FireClick also has made search results more usable. “Visitors may do a search that comes up with 75 items that span 10 to 20 pages and they want to view those pages quickly to find what they want to buy,” he says. At the end of the day, the sale is what Art.com is improving upon. “It doesn’t take a big boost to get the product to pay for itself.”

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