WebTrends 7 EnterpriseREVIEWER: Michael Crowdes, manager of interactive marketing and e-commerce for Royal Appliance.

BACKGROUND: Royal Appliance is best known for manufacturing and marketing floor care products under the Dirt Devil brand name. Dirt Devil enjoys a 98 percent brand name awareness in the U.S. for its lineup of products. In 2002, Royal relaunched the Dirt Devil Web site to incorporate new tools and functionality aimed at helping consumers find the perfect vacuum. Included in the relaunch was a stepped up emphasis on selling replacement parts and accessories directly from the Web site. At the onset of the project, analysis was identified as a key component of Royal's Internet program that needed to be addressed.

PLATFORMS: Windows 2000 Server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Royal Appliance selected the software version of WebTrends 7 Enterprise and quickly took advantage of one of the product's key features, Scenario Analysis, to begin the process of refining the online shopping cart. Once the five key steps in the shopping process had been set up to be tracked in WebTrends, Royal adopted an iterative approach to refining the cart that consisted of making small, single changes, measuring the impact in WebTrends (sometimes for as long as a week) and then making a decision whether to keep or discard the change based on the scenario reports in the Web-based reporting interface. Over a period of three months, almost two dozen such changes were made to the site involving the placement of user interface (UI) elements, directional language and button copy. Once the basic flow of the cart had been optimized, Royal began more complex tests which involved gauging the impact of free shipping offers, different product mixes and alternate payment options. The 2005 net result was a 14 percentage point increase in conversion, while online sales at dirtdevil.com increased 170 percent in 2004 compared to 2003.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Functionally, the staff at Royal has been very pleased with WebTrends. At a basic level, the product was extremely easy to set up, and administering it has added virtually no overhead for the hardware administration staff.

STRENGTHS: WebTrends is one of the simplest Web-based applications Royal Appliance has in house. WebTrends' easy-to-understand Scenario Analysis provides invaluable insight and analysis and is a critical component in our ongoing site optimization process. It helps Royal pinpoint exactly where visitors are entering and exiting a conversion scenario and allows us to view the entire process in a clear funnel-like format. This feedback into the conversion process enabled the company to easily identify the changes and tweaks that needed to be made to further optimize and drive conversion rates on our Web site. In addition, tracking of its various creative campaigns is easy and efficient, yet offers the detail needed to best allocate marketing resources.

WEAKNESSES: WebTrends lacks practical, easy-to-find information in the documentation, particularly when implementing more advanced functionality such as custom reports.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Royal had identified early that an ASP solution was not going to be a good fit with the robust uses planned for the data. This, combined with WebTrends' reputation, indicated the selection of WebTrends Enterprise. The fact that fully-functional demo software was available, and that WebTrends was flexible in providing trial extensions, made all the difference in coming to a decision.

DELIVERABLES: Because WebTrends Enterprise is comprehensive and flexible, Royal Appliance can drill down into the details as well as gain a high-level overview of the analysis. We consider WebTrends a critical discovery tool for online initiatives that have helped us make faster decisions and increase online sales.

VENDOR SUPPORT: WebTrends online technical support ticket system and knowledge base is a bit burdensome to use, but redeems itself with the thorough responses and individual attention that come from actual technical support personnel.

DOCUMENTATION: Although the documentation does an excellent job of describing what is available to track, there are few examples of code snippets for the tag-based tracking component, and there is no explanation of what makes up the pre-seeded dimensions and measures to aid Royal Appliance in using the data in custom reports.

WebTrends 7 Enterprise
WebTrends Inc.
851 SW 6th Avenue
Suite 700
Portland, OR 97204

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