March 9, 2006, 12:00 AM

Utility Safeguard using analytics to maintain rapid growth

Launched as a b2b supplier of safety-related work items, Utility Safeguard LLC is using web analytics to better understand how consumer sales are helping to double its overall number of orders each year, CEO Jim Graham tells InternetRetailer.com.

 

Launched in 2002 as a b2b supplier of hard hats, lead-lined gloves and other safety-related work items, Utility Safeguard LLC is using web analytics to better understand how consumer sales are helping to double its overall number of orders each year, CEO Jim Graham tells InternetRetailer.com.

The retailer, which operates one store in addition to UtilitySafeguard.com and had about $3 million in sales last year, has been steadily increasing its market among consumers who find it on the web, Graham says.

Utility Safeguard ships about 50 orders a day, including about 10 bulk orders drop-shipped by manufacturers. It ships the other 40 from its own warehouse, figuring that many of these are from consumers and small businesses.

Its biggest problem, however, has been in determining from where most of its new customers have been arriving, such as via which paid-search engine or through organic search. By using a combination of analytics programs from NetSuite Inc. and Google Inc., it has been better able to maintain a flow of several hundred new customers a month. “Last month we gained more than 600 new customers,” he says.

NetSuite, which also hosts Utility Safeguard’s web site and back-end business software, provides a high-level real-time view of its number of visitors, orders and dollar sales. Google Analytics drills down further into visitor clickstream activity, showing details such as which search engine visitors arrived from, and what links they clicked on UtilitySafeguard.com.

“Now we’re learning where to spend our ad dollars,” Graham says. “Last month we had 257,000 hits, and that’s up from 120,000 in the same month last year.”

 

 

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