August 4, 2005, 12:00 AM

Retailers use analytics to track impact of online research on offline sales

A Forrester report finds 42% of web analytics users surveyed are sharing data from other channels, importing information from other customer interaction points, like point of sale systems and call centers. That’s up from 23% last year.

 

An estimated 65% of online shoppers research purchases online before buying offline – and marketers are making increasing use of web analytics tools to make the link between that online and offline behavior, according to data from Forrester Research.

42% of the web analytics users Forrester surveyed from its own client base reported importing data from other customer touch points – such as point of sale systems and call centers – monthly or more frequently, up from 23% that did so last year. "Firms improve their ROI acumen when they follow customers who visit the web site, don’t buy immediately, and then consummate their transactions through other channels,” notes the author of the report, Forrester analyst Bob Chatham. “Web analytics becomes customer analytics.”

While most marketers still aren’t pulling together fully integrated customer views, Chatham notes progress in that direction. 25% of those surveyed correlate user survey data with site analytics to build customer profiles that link attitudes with behavior. 36% said they export site analytic data to a corporate data warehouse, while 39% cross-match site registration data with clickstream data, according to the report.

 

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