June 7, 2002, 12:00 AM

How changing the product mix in real time can boost conversions

Novica.com boosted conversion rates 40% by analyzing how visitors came to the site, the products they clicked on and what they bought, then changing the product mix to respond to that information.

Analyzing the path by which visitors came to their site, the products those visitors clicked on and then what they bought gave managers at Novica.com sufficient insight into a marketing campaign as customers were responding to it that they were able to boost conversion rates by 40%, Charles Hachtmann, chief technology officer of Novica, tells InternetRetailer.com.

Using the Segment Insite product from Fireclick Inc., Novica analyzed customer behavior as customers responded to a link on an affiliated site. As customers landed at the Novica site and began clicking on products, managers were able to make decisions about what customers responded to and what they weren’t interested in. In this case, Novica concluded that most of the customers were female and so merchandisers gradually changed the product mix of the page. "Initially we wanted to provide customers with a full range of our products," Hachtmann says. "We put up 12 very different products but quickly found out it was better to focus on particular products. Within a day we found out what people clicked on and what they converted on. Over the course of a few days, the site ended up with more and more jewelry and glassware."

Constant analysis of customer response to marketing campaigns is important, Hachtmann says. "You can send two e-mails to the same group and get vastly different responses," he says. "It depends on what holidays are coming up and the season of the year. You always have to be making decisions about what people in the group are doing."

Privately held Novica, partly owned by National Geographic, sells 8,000 products from 1,700 artisans around the world. It features art, jewelry, home décor and craft items. It operates seven offices around the world and ships to customers directly from the artisan’s home country.

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