February 22, 2007, 12:00 AM

Bass Pro Shops reels in bigger fish on comparison shopping sites

After getting poor results through its listings on comparison shopping sites, sporting goods retailer Bass Pro Shops has produced a sharp increase in sales through the third-party sites by using web analytics data as part of its ad-buying strategy.

After getting poor results through its listings on comparison shopping sites, sporting goods retailer Bass Pro Shops has produced a sharp increase in sales through the third-party sites by using web analytics data as part of its ad-buying strategy, David Seifert, director of operations and direct marketing, tells InternetRetailer.com.

“Shopping comparison sites have been the hardest nut to crack in getting return on advertising spend,” Seifert says. “Many people say shopping comparison advertising is great, but it can be really difficult to make profits on it.”

But that has changed now that Bass Pro, No. 77 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, buys its product listings, or ads, on shopping comparison sites through Mercent Corp. with integrated web analytics data from Coremetrics Inc., Seifert says. Mercent delivers Bass Pro’s product data and listings to some 35 shopping comparison sites. And by using Coremetrics data that shows the actual products shoppers have purchased after clicking on Bass Pro listings, Bass Pro is able to target its ad spending on product listings known to produce the best sales on particular comparison sites. “We use this information to differentiate performance between shopping comparison sites, rather than just shotgunning the same data feed to all comparison sites,” Seifert says.

Mercent and Coremetrics recently launched an integrated service called Coremetrics Marketplace powered by Mercent.

In the past, Bass Pro might only know how many shoppers clicked on its product listings in each shopping comparison site. But using the Coremetrics analytics data, it can now see the full clickstream of shoppers after they clicked on a product listing, viewing all the individual products, or SKUs, that they also clicked and which items they purchased.

In some cases, Seifert says, shoppers may have only clicked but not purchased the product featured in a listing ad-but then continued clicking from the listing to purchase other products. Bass Pro would then focus on the products that did sell in subsequent ad spending.

Because Bass Pro was already using Coremetrics analytics to manage its general paid-search marketing programs, it has been able to use the same Coremetrics page tags in its shopping comparison campaigns. An added benefit, Seifert says, is that Bass Pro can now view a single analytics data dashboard for real-time updates on the impact in sales of multiple advertising campaigns, including comparison shopping sites and general Internet paid search.

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