October 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

Small changes in interpreting analytics yield bigger sales for Scentiments

Scentiments.com took a fresh look at its Google analytics data. The result: better analysis and action led to a 50% increase in sales conversion on some product pages.

Small changes in interpreting analytics data are making a big difference in sales conversions at Scentiments.com.

Scentiments.com, an online perfume retailer and No. 384 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is a long-time user of Google analytics. Over time Scentiments.com, which carries an online inventory of about 7,000 SKUs, has become adept at interpreting analytics data on pay-per-click campaigns, web traffic and other marketing-related metrics. But sales conversion on some products pages was flat, says CEO Howard Wyner.

Scentiments.com contemplated hiring an in-house specialist, but ultimately hired an outside analytics firm.

“We didn’t have enough insight into the analysis and we knew we were leaving money on the table,” says Wyner. “We talked about hiring a staff specialist, but decided against that option because after awhile it gets very hard for anyone to interpret analytics data with fresh insight.”

To drill down into its analytics data, Scentiments.com instead hired Napkyn Inc., a Canadian web analytics service provider, to sift through the information. After studying the data, Napkyn recommended a series of measures such as adding more specific content on product pages to improve optimization and including more brand names and detailed product information on certain landing pages.

“When a shopper used to come to a specific landing page from a link on a search engine, all they saw was a list of products,” says Wyner. “Now we may show them more specific content such as the top 10 products others have bought and specific brand names. By showing visitors and shoppers more relevant content, we are able to increase our sales.”

As a result of the initiatives, Scentiments.com improved its conversion rate on some product pages to 1.5% from 1%, says Wyner. Improved use of analytics data also will help Scentiments.com generate sales of about $17 million this year, about the same as in 2008, Wyner says.

“We have long known that a substantial amount of revenue potential was locked away in our analytics data, and this mountain of data held the key to achieving a higher return from the dollars that we were investing in pay-per-click, e-mail marketing and other activities that were bringing prospects to our site,” says Wyner. “Since employing Napkyn we have seen real improvements in conversions and were able to increase return on investment for our existing marketing initiatives.”

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