August 4, 2005, 12:00 AM

Why the web analytics association wants more Internet retailers

The new Web Analytics Association has several initiatives of interest to e-retailers, says president Jim Sterne. Among them: a new committee that is looking into common terminology and definitions for web analytics and a new series of online courses.

The new Web Analytics Association is taking shape and has a number of initiatives going forward that will be of prime interest to the Internet retailing market, says president Jim Sterne.

Among them: a new committee that is looking into developing common terminology and definitions for web analytics and a new series of online courses.

 

The Web Analytics Association, which launched earlier this year and has about 500 members, including founding advisory companies such as WebTrends, WebSideStory Inc., Coremetrics Inc. and Omniture Inc., formed a standards committee and is examining how analytics users and application developers can standardize common definitions such as conversion rate and abandonment rate.

 

"There are common web analytics terms, but how they are used and defined varies widely," Sterne says. "At some companies, `click through` is defined as when a customer clicks on a banner and lands on the home page while at other companies the definition is entirely different. Common definitions and terms will help everyone do a better job of analyzing results."

 

The association has formed a standards committee headed up by Guy Creese, industry analyst at Ballard Vale Research, and Jason Burby, director of web analytics at Zaaz Inc. The association is also beginning to develop online classes, and later accreditation criteria, that web analytics professionals can take to enhance their job performance.

 

The first online class will focus on web analytics basics and be offered through the University of British Columbia, Sterne says. The first class will be available by December and future classes will focus on topics such as using analytics to cut down on shopping cart abandonment and increase conversion rates.

 

The association is doing its first member survey and sees the Internet retailing market as a critical part of its membership and mission going forward. "This market actually measures dollars," Sterne says.

New corporate members to the association include Digital Forest Inc., Elytics, Intellitracker, OneStat.com, Predicta, Stratigent LLC, TraceWorks, Speed-Trap, SPSS Inc. and WebAbacus Ltd.

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