May 23, 2011, 1:44 PM

Analytics translates into higher sales for Rosetta Stone

The retailer of language programs has boosted conversions and average order values.

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Rosetta Stone Inc., a publisher and retailer of interactive language-learning programs, is using the Online Marketing Suite from Adobe Systems Inc. to better understand where its online customers come from, how they shop on its e-commerce site, and what kind of merchandising and marketing pitches they’re likely to respond to, says Shane Li, Rosetta Stone’s senior web analyst.

Using the Online Marketing Suite, based on analytics technology that Adobe acquired last year when it bought Omniture Inc., Rosetta Stone has produced an 8% to 9% lift in its online conversion rate, resulting in a 4% increase in average order value and a 13% rise in revenue per visitor, Li says.

“We have tracking for each marketing channel, so we know where people came from, and we know which groups of visitors were recent demo takers versus which were purchasers,” Li says. That’s important, he adds, because Rosetta Stone can then respond with the marketing offers shown to be most effective with each customer segment.

Rosetta Stone has learned, for example, that visitors to who click a product demo are more responsive to e-mail offers than visitors who did not view the product demonstration. “Conversion rates are a lot better if we send the e-mail after they view a demo,” Li says. To build on that kind of customer activity, the company now places prominently on the lead page for each language an invitation for visitors to enter their e-mail addresses; doing so enables consumers to view an introductory video of the new Rosetta Stone Version 4 TOTALe computer-based language programs.

Rosetta Stone also has found that it can improve conversion rates and sales by placing more videos as well as customer testimonials on other pages of its web site. And it’s gleaned some surprising insights about how its customers shop and respond to online content. The data show, for example, that shoppers reviewing materials for one foreign language will often switch to another language program if presented with content about it, helping to reduce cart abandonment. “When shoppers search for a German program, then see an offer for French as well as for German, they may switch to French,” Li says.

Lynn Lanphier, director, digital analytics, at Best Buy Co. Inc., will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in San Diego on June 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in a session titled “Keeping control of web analytics data."

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