June 30, 2003, 12:00 AM

NetTracker analytics deliver validation and some surprises to FreshDirect

More shoppers click on cross-sells, sales of promoted products soar, and non-fat cheese moves to the top of the category list after FreshDirect implements web site changes suggested by a NetTracker analytics product.


FreshDirect, an online grocery company that provides delivery of more than 5,000 fresh food products in 1,000 categories to customers in the New York City area, got a few surprises and some welcome validation when it implemented NetTracker analytics tools from Sane Solutions, the company says. The analytics tools recently determined that a FreshDirect Valentine’s Day e-mail campaign had a 50% open rate and that 15% of the targeted recipients clicked through on the promotion and visited the site. Sales of promoted products rose significantly, and the results have shaped subsequent campaigns, the company says.

Beyond just tracking click-throughs, NetTracker reporting also produced a funnel report that showed how far in the process customers who received the e-mail and visited the site went toward making a purchase. “We track how many customers received the e-mail, how many opened it, how many clicked through to the site, and how many completed checkout,” says David Gerridge, project manager at FreshDirect. Now, FreshDirect uses the reports to determine which campaigns will be repeated, altered or discontinued.

In addition to tracking results from e-mail campaigns, FreshDirect uses NetTracker to guide merchandising on the site. For example, the tool showed that a dialog box on the order confirmation page, which popped up complementary products to the item being purchased, was getting more click-throughs from customers than initially believed. As a result, the cross-selling promotions have been made more prominent on the site, says FreshDirect.

NetTracker also has informed some changes to site design. Analytics showed that a link for delivery information that appeared under the shopping cart on every page was accessed much more frequently from the home page than any other page, so the company made better use of the space under the shopping cart by adding a new link for product requests there instead. In addition, based on analytics reports, it changed the order of some products featured on the site. For example, NetTracker showed that low-fat and non-dairy cheeses, featured near the end of a list of 16 cheese offerings, would benefit from being moved higher on the list because they were proving to be the most popular in the category.

Currently, sales, demographics and customers` online behavior, stored in an Oracle database, are manually combined. FreshDirect plans to automate the process in the near future to increase personalization features for customers. “Eventually the goal for the site is to be more relational, where it reflects merchandise selected based on past purchase,” says John Boris, vice president of marketing at FreshDirect. The site also plans to use the tools to reveal more about how particular customer segments shop and whether shopping behavior changes over time.


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