November 1, 2010, 12:00 AM

Making Connections

(Page 2 of 2)

'Nothing is disconnected'

At Tikimaster.com, president Jerome Coudrier says Zoovy helps him tie order management and inventory data to his paid search investments and adjusts keyword bids based on available inventory. Zoovy also manages his marketplace feeds to eBay and Amazon, which generate about 60% of the company's $1 million in annual sales. 'For me, nothing is disconnected,' he says. Zoovy charges a one-time start-up fee of approximately $8,000 and then monthly maintenance fees and a 35-cent per-transaction fee.

At ProSafetySupplies.com, president Jill Morrow maximizes her marketing investments through tools tied to Zoovy's order manager. About half of the e-retailer's $1.5 million in annual sales come by phone, she says, because buyers want to customize their purchases of workplace safety gear, such as hard hats and safety vests.

She says the system's order manager, which includes a dashboard of analytic reports that communicate the status of key performance indicators that she selects, pulls all sales data regardless of sales channel and presents a comprehensive view of where her orders are coming from and what her most profitable products are.

She uses this data to make adjustments to her marketing investments. For example, the report will reflect a large order of customized safety vests that may have been generated online through paid search, but placed by phone.

'It catches stuff Google Analytics can't because some of my most profitable sales don't happen online,' she says. With phone orders, Morrow says she always asks how the customer found the company so she can then fine-tune her paid search approach.

Retailer demand for this big-picture view of the business is growing, analysts say. 'Really using that customer data for targeted promotions and customer service is having a strong push,' Cunnane says. He adds that order management systems in the multichannel retail market especially are responding to this demand.

And the trend toward more software being built with the web in mind is helping make it easier to tie order management with Internet retailers' other key processes.

allison@verticalwebmedia.com

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