June 17, 2002, 12:00 AM

Another entrant in the customer-understanding derby

As online retailers are settling less for traffic and conversion reports, a number of vendors have developed tools to help them understand how customers find a site, which customers buy and why. The latest: DoubleClick Inc.

As online retailers are settling less for traffic and conversion reports, a number of vendors have developed tools to help them understand how customers find a site, which customers buy and why. The latest: DoubleClick Inc., a provider of online marketing tools, today launched SiteAdvance, a hosted, web site measurement and analysis solution for online merchants.

The site is designed to help online retailers understand the interaction between marketing programs, site traffic and online transactions. Charter customers of the service include Crate and Barrel, J. Jill and Flax Art & Design.

SiteAdvance is based on four modules. Two of the modules, Site Statistics and Merchandising Effectiveness, are available immediately. The remaining two, Campaign Effectiveness and Customer Segmentation, will be available in the fourth quarter.

The Site Statistics Module provides merchant and publisher customers with information on visitors to their web sites, where they are visiting from and how different types of visitors are using the site. Merchandising Effectiveness informs merchants which products are selling best to which group of visitors, which sections of a site are generating the best returns, when and why shoppers abandon carts, and what the average order size or is by different groups of visitors.

Campaign Effectiveness is designed to determine which campaigns are working best to drive visitors to buy, as well as to provide information on what happens when a campaign brings visitors to a site, and what drives conversion. Customer Segmentation lets merchants determine the reach, frequency and monetary value of different customer segments.

"Traditional analytics tools are often designed for use by technical departments rather than providing executives with data and analysis to make decisions for changes to a campaign or areas of the website," said Craig Flax of Flax Art & Design. "We are hopeful that SiteAdvance will fill this void and provide us with the information and insight into questions that we currently have no way to answer."

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