April 10, 2003, 12:00 AM

How analytics keeps Venus Swimwear fashion-current

With its ever-changing fashions, Venus Swimwear Inc. serves a fickle market. And so knowing what customers are responding to and how they are using VenusSwimwear.com is crucial to the success of the company.

With its ever-changing fashions, Venus Swimwear Inc. serves a fickle market. And so knowing what customers are responding to and how they are using VenusSwimwear.com is crucial to the success of the company.

Venus Swimwear keeps a close watch on its e-mail marketing campaigns so it can make changes as necessary. And as more retailers come to understand that e-mail marketing, which seemed cheap only a short time ago, really has a cost associated with it, they are paying more attention to how to make e-mail more effective. “The thinking was that e-mail was free, but it’s really not,” says Rich Atlas, Venus’s director of direct-mail and e-commerce marketing. “The more you can increase your return on investment in it, the more effective and the less wasteful you’ll be.”

Venus is one of the early adopters of FireClick Inc.’s new NetFlame Enterprise product, which provides not only web site analytics but also analytics for marketing campaigns. Venus uses analytics to track response rates and conversion rates to its e-mail marketing messages. “We can try out different variations of the offer or the subject line, almost in real-time,” Atlas tells InternetRetailer.com.

One of Enterprise’s new features is that it allows users to create customized reports. “I can set up the page to get my reports, which will be about how a campaign performed in revenue, orders, display times, most exited pages, users’ connection speeds, and so on, while other groups can set up their own views,” Atlas says. “For instance, one group might want to see all navigation-related information, while another might want revenue-related and someone else might want speed of pages, and entry and exit pages. We couldn’t do that before.”

Apart from the customization, Atlas says a benefit Venus gets from the new Enterprise product is that it is ASP-based, meaning the company does not have to invest in in-house technology to take advantage of the analytics services.

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