CXO

Finetuning Web performance

How do you know if your Web site is working properly, attracting the right audience and giving them what they need?

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

More analyst observations

Forrester also observed that very few organisations were tracking visitors who cross channels, such as those who do their product research online but make the purchases in stores.

To overcome some of these deficiencies, Forrester suggests an approach that it has dubbed scenario completion: "the rate at which users are able to accomplish their key goals". The idea is to "only measure the most profitable scenarios enacted by key market segments".

This, claims Forrester, focuses on the customers and prospects that matter most, forces organisations to take a cross-channel view, and generates actionable results (either the customer succeeded, or you have identified the source of the problem).

Three categories of scenario are suggested: action (eg, customer places an order), information (customer browses information, but this does not culminate in action such as placing an order), and communication (eg, a bank customer checks an account balance online, calls about a missing deposit, then visits a branch to follow up). That latter example also illustrates the need to combine information captured by different systems.

Four types of tools are needed to measure scenario completion. "Usage analysis provides a foundation, usability studies answer 'Why?', performance monitors ensure reliable service, and opinion polls track satisfaction-but not behaviour."

These scenarios do not exist in a vacuum, and should be related to corporate goals such as revenue, cost savings, site ROI, and cross-channel ROI.

Usability studies, performance monitors, and usage analysis are equally applicable to action scenarios, but opinion polls aren't such a good fit because people's opinions are not necessarily congruent with their actions.

Information scenarios are well measured by useability studies and opinion polls, but usage analysis is not relevant because such scenarios rarely end with a measurable action. Performance monitors may provide some relevant information.

Communication scenarios are the worst served, because usage and performance tools must integrate data from non-Web systems. Usability testing is of little relevance because of the differences between online and in-person scenarios. Opinion polls may provide some information in this area.

An important issue is that Web analytics require unique user identification. One way of achieving this is to persuade important customers to log in to the site. Organisations must relate all customer activity-marketing automation, customer service, Web—to a single ID and use it to link disparate systems.

As for the question of doing the work in-house or outsourcing, Forrester's advice is "Firms just piloting data warehousing projects or struggling to get IT support should focus on outsourced analytics.

But companies with data warehousing and mining skills will duplicate effort and expense by outsourcing—they should install packaged solutions instead."

Either way, you should look for tools offering flexible reporting from OLAP (if you have data mining skills) or tools and services that provide highly customisable Web-based reports.

If you are doing the work internally, you'll need a way of archiving information from Web logs (the logs themselves are too big to keep), or of storing clickstreams, user IDs, etc in a database. A final tip from Forrester: "Design and build with measurement in mind."

META also believes in looking at the big picture. "Poor revenue numbers do not necessarily mean a Web commerce site is performing poorly. Companies must consider all the roles their Web presence plays to more accurately determine return on investment," says META's Carl Lehmann in his report "The Multidimensional ROI of Web Commerce."

"Other valuable business functions of a Web commerce site are often overlooked in ROI analysis. These include the Web site's role within existing advertising campaigns, as a direct marketing channel, and as an indirect sales support tool for sell-side business partners.

"We believe Web commerce sites should not stand alone as a distinct customer interaction channel. They must be aligned with existing customer interaction channels and governed within the context of a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy."

For example, organisations should look at cost of transactions (sales, support, etc) via the Web site, and compare the results with the costs for other channels.

If the Web really is cheaper—and it may be as little as 2 percent to 20 percent of the cost-they should seek to drive customers to online channels. Similarly, compare with other forms of advertising—use CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Also include contribution of Web to channel support functions such as lead management.

"Companies realise a greater return on investment when they consider the multidimensional role of a Web commerce site as also a mechanism for advertising, direct marketing, and channel relationship management."

The May 2002 issue of ZDNet Australia's Technology & Business Magazine contains information about about Web site analysis tools. For subscription information, visit Technology & Business.

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