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Coremetrics targets online retailers with new analytics service

Application service provider Coremetrics' new analytics service tracking online storefront activity differs from many others on the market.

Applications service provider (ASP) Coremetrics, Burlingame, Calif., is launching a new analytical offering to give Web-based retailers a more detailed picture of online storefront activity.

Built on an XML and Java-based architecture, the software features client-specific reporting, user profile integration and marketing campaign tracking. The firm said the technology also offers the ability to import and export data into third-party systems.

On a fundamental level, Marketforce monitors all activity on a retailer's Web site, drawing user data directly from Web browsers rather than relying on traditional log-based systems. One of the technology's most compelling features may be its ability to track the moves of visitors who choose not to make a purchase or who quit while initiating an order.

"Every company in business online has some sort of transaction platform in place, generally coming out of a log file system," said Scott Kauffman, Coremetrics' president and CEO. "The problem is these solutions were designed to help make Web sites run, not designed to help make business on the Web site run."

Kauffman said he believes log-based systems are fatally flawed and at least one industry analyst shares the opinion. Kate Delhagen, retail market research director at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, said emerging technologies like Coremetrics' are likely to spell the end of existing means of tracking Web site usage.

"There's pressure on the market to turn profitable or become more profitable," Delhagen said. "It's not just about measuring an overall site conversion rate, you have to understand the sub paths every user takes and why."

Delhagen said newer applications allow important data streams to flow into e-commerce organizations, lending greater ability to understand what the key paths are within their sites. The analyst said Coremetrics' status as an ASP may also work in its favor.

"The outsourced model works well here because of its rapid deployment and relatively low cost," she said.

According to Coremetrics, a typical implementation for the Marketforce offering will require five to 10 days of on-site time for implementation depending on the product's three levels of reporting functionality.

Pricing for the package is based on the size of a customer's site and the number of unique visitors it receives. The price is also scaled to the complexity of the package chosen, beginning at $5,000 per month for core reporting and offering multiple levels of more advanced analytics starting at up to $25,000 per month.

Coremetrics also highlighted an aggressive focus on the business commerce market and announced customers including Nortel Networks. Officials at the company said future plans include a push into the online travel sector.

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