Last week, web site analytics engine Omniture agreed to acquire Mercadoâ€™s multi-channel retailer site search and merchandising businesses. Macyâ€™s, Overstock.com, Williams-Sonoma Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., and OfficeMax, are just a few of the major retailers who use leverage Mercado consulting and technology services to vastly improve the effectiveness of their store’s navigation, search experience, and product merchandising to increase conversions.
Simply, Mercado enables a form of multivariate testing, enabling merchants to dynamically test thousands of variables to determine that which delivers your preferred results. Which is more compelling to your customers? Free Shipping or 25% off? While this can be tested with simple A/B testing, consider too that you might want to know if 10% or 30% is more effective. What about a free gift, upgrade, or a coupon toward their next purchase? Perhaps something simpler such as a ‘no questions asked’ return policy? With so many variables, a solution, like that which Mercado delivers, is the only way to truly optimize your online shopping experience.
Now, throw Omniture in the mix and the possibilities cause the mind to spin! Omniture, which not long ago aquired Hitbox, is a terribly sophisticated analytics engine capable of tracking just about everything that happens on, and in some cases off, your site. There have long been questions about the value Omniture delivers relative to Google Analytics (which is free); the most compelling reason to use Omniture is its tie to other solutions such as Mercado and SearchCenter.
Search Center is a suite of search engine marketing tools with the overwhelming advantage of being integrated with your site analytics (assuming you are using Omniture). Think of it as Marin Software or even just AdSense on steroids in that your SEM programs are already tied into rich performance metrics on everything from conversion to fall out, newsletter registrations to call tracking (conceivably), time spent to conversion rates. If you are managing search in-house, SearchCenter is well worth a close look.
How on earth did my mention of Mercado come around to search?
Interesting to me is that Omniture seems to be making moves to become an end to end marketing and analytics solution. Coupled with their best-in-class consultants, Omniture will be able to deliver search marketing solutions through landing page optimization, with the internet’s most advanced reporting platform smack-dab in the middle.