July 27, 2009, 12:00 AM

MarketLive offers experts to help retailers understand and apply analytics

Analytics can help retailers uncover valuable information about consumer behavior. But analytics can be overwhelming. A new service from MarketLive seeks to help e-retailers better understand analytics and how to use it to boost sales.

Analytics data can be insightful and help retailers uncover valuable information about consumer behavior. But analytics technology can be overwhelming. A new service from e-commerce platform provider MarketLive seeks to help online retailers understand analytics and how to use the information to boost sales.

The new subscription-based program, which will formally launch tomorrow, is called Intelligent Insights. It offers retailers that use MarketLive’s e-commerce platform access to Omniture analytics data and assigns them a MarketLive expert to help decipher the data and apply it to their businesses.

The expert will work with retailers on a regular schedule as an analytics consultant. For instance, if Omniture data shows that many consumers are leaving the shopping cart, the expert will work with the retailer to redesign it. Or, if analytics uncovers that many shoppers are leaving the web site from the home page, the consultant will work with the retailer to help redesign the home page.

Online retailer Gaiam has been using a beta version of the program for nearly three months and has already increased its conversion rates by more than 10% since implementing changes to its shopping cart, product pages and checkout process that were suggested by its MarketLive consultant.

“We completely redesigned our product pages,” says says Jason Marshall, vice president and general manager, consumer direct, at Gaiam, No. 254 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “We enlarged the images, moved the copy, and implemented an enhanced sharing feature that let shoppers e-mail a friend or share products on Facebook and other social networks.”

“Retailers must have deep insights into customer buying behavior and the effectiveness of every bit of site real estate,” says Mark Pierce, CEO of MarketLive. “Our retailers agree on the critical nature of analytics, yet many don’t have the time or resources to fully leverage this essential information. MarketLive Intelligent Insights allows retailers to better take advantage of deep analytics data that can help them tune their business for increased average order size, higher conversions, and greater customer loyalty-and they can achieve these results without the overhead of an internal analyst.”

Gaiam has two scheduled two-hour meetings each week with its assigned consultant, but Marshall says his staff is in contact with the expert every day.

Gaiam was already subscribing to an Omniture web analytics package before using Intellligent Insights, but Marshall says his company didn’t have the in-house resources to take full advantage of the information it was gathering.

“We had the data, we were just not advanced enough in how we were using it,” Marshall says. “Frankly, I think that’s how most companies our size are operating right now. It’s hard to dedicate a person on staff to focus solely on analytics. This program gives us access to brilliant analytics types at MarketLive that can provide actionable pieces of data.”

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