10/23/08

New Interwoven Optimost tool combines demographics with multivariate tests

With the new Interwoven Optimost Adaptive Targeting, retailers can test web content against such factors as visitors’ geographic location, income, keyword search term and on-site behavior. One retailer found surprising strength in the Midwest.

Paul Demery , Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

The Optimost unit of Interwoven Inc. has introduced a new technology designed to help retailers and other web site operators present the optimal content to visitors based on such factors as where they come from, what they do on the site, their income, age and time of day.

Announced this week, the Interwoven Optimost Adaptive Targeting product expands the targeting functionality of Optimost, which specializes in multivariate testing, says Mark Wachen, managing director of Optimost. “Typically you’re testing copy, offers, headlines, the layout of a product page,” Wachen says. “Now we’re overlaying different buckets, such as where did someone come from, the search keywords they used, profile information about the customer or information you can capture during the visit.” Interwoven, which provides content management services, acquired Optimost last year.

Among the six clients that tested the Adaptive Targeting product over the last several months was Neo-Image, a Canadian manufacturer of candles that plans to launch a redesigned version of its web site next month on a new technology platform, IBM WebSphere. The new site will feature a new brand name, Yummi, and will target upscale customers as well as the manufacturer’s traditional value-oriented clientele, says Sokratis Antonopoulos, director of e-commerce.

In one test, Neo-Image compared web copy highlighting “best deals” with other content featuring “unscented candles,” and compared click-through rates by household income (determined by visitor ZIP code) and geographical region. Antonopoulos was not surprised to find that lower-income consumers were more responsive to the “best deals” offer, but he was surprised to find that the highest conversion rate came from the Midwest. “From the analytics I had prior to this, it seemed the Northeast was the best-performing region,” he says.

Antonopoulos says he plans to use the technology to do more tests, such as comparing how customers from different regions and income levels respond to various types of photography and video. It will help him, he says, decide how to optimize the layout of web pages, and also to assess new products. “I can have true statistical information at my fingertips that can lead me to make quicker decisions, such as whether to keep a product,” he says.

The Adaptive Targeting feature is part of the hosted Optimost service, which is delivered in a software-as-a-service model. Pricing for the service is typically in the range of $25,000 per month, Wachen says.

Topics:

Antonopoulos, business, Interwoven, multivariate testing, Online shopping

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