January 22, 2004, 12:00 AM

Analytics help Timberland.com stay ahead of holiday customer demand

Omniture’s SiteCatalyst showed customers’ holiday buying patterns to keep inventory stocked, and query patterns on what customers looked for but didn’t find to inform product development.

A real-time window into product queries on its web site during the holiday season helped outdoors accessories and apparel manufacturer Timberland stay one step ahead of customer demand and provide feedback on future product development, the company says.

Omniture Inc.`s SiteCatalyst analytics service provided data on what customers purchased and also what they inquired about, says Brian McGovern, e-commerce marketing manager at Timberland. “This was unique because not only were we seeing items added to the shopping cart, but also seeing items our customers were requesting that were not in stock,” he says. “We were able to utilize this information and make changes to inventory in response to sudden customer interest.”

Because Timberland.com functions both as a store and as a vehicle for gaining intelligence on customer interest, McGovern says Timberland wants to know not only what customers are buying, but also what they are looking for. “By coupling the products ordered with browsing patterns we were able to provide feedback to our product development teams and to our wholesale buyers,” he says. The analytics tool has been “incredibly useful” in understanding Timberland’s customers, he adds.

Calling Timberland’s use of SiteCatalyst a good example of how retailers are leveraging their online presence, Ominture vice president of marketing John Mellor adds, “Understanding online consumer behavior is an integral part of responding to current interest as well as a valuable leading indicator for future trends.”

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