January 24, 2007, 12:00 AM

JeffersPet.com corrals e-commerce tools for systems upgrades

A new analytics program is beginning to pay dividends for JeffersPet.com in the form of more sales and better conversion rates, says Teresa Ide, director of e-commerce.

JeffersPet.com and its sister sites are expecting big things from new e-commerce technology, adding a site redesign to web analytics introduced in 2005. JeffersPet.com’s 2006 web conversion rate of 36.86% for repeat buyers reflects the results of web analytics tools already implemented and the conversion rate of new visitor to order was 10.86%, says Teresa Ide, director of e-commerce for Jeffers Inc., parent of JeffersPet.com, and its equine and livestock sites.

There are high expectations for this year. “We’re going to see a big change in 2007 in terms of increased sales numbers and conversions,” Ide says. Jeffers is No. 294 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

Web analytics software from Coremetrics has enabled Jeffers to track promotions. For example, Ide can “tag” an e-mail promotion to track sales, and follow such shopper actions as the cart and item abandonment rate.

Ide wouldn’t discuss sales specifics but said all those measures are “below industry averages, at least those that need to be lower. We’re learning what customers are thinking about but not purchasing and leaving in the shopping cart.”

Ide is “thrilled with 2006 conversion numbers but they will be entirely different next year,” she predicts.

The site redesign is coming in the second quarter, about five years since the last one. InnerServe is helping develop redesigns of all three sites, and working on new e-mail marketing campaigns, Ide says.

Other technology on the drawing board for 2007 includes customer improvement and retention, customer reviews, and increased functionality, through improved search and navigation tools. Most or all of those tools will be built inhouse, she adds.

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