The Web analytics space continues to thrive despite the economic recession. According to the latest Forrester Wave on the market, 73 percent of businesses are reporting the use of Web analytics measurement technologies, a rate expected to grow 17 percent annually.
Eight vendors were evaluated across 105 criteria, and John Lovett, Forrester senior analyst and author of the report, says he was pleased with the results. "All of the vendors are steadily moving forward," he says. "The industry keeps moving forward. We aren't stagnant." More than half of the vendors fell under the Leader category while the remaining three were either a Strong Performer or Contenders.
Leaders (in alphabetical order):
- Coremetrics: Though one of the smaller vendors, Forrester recognizes Coremetrics for its data scalability, customized reporting and analysis, and ability to integrate with multiple marketing functions.
- Omniture: Leading the industry overall, Omniture is commended for its data handling, reporting, analysis capabilities, and marketing applications.
- Nedstat: Focusing primarily on the European market, Nedstat exhibits strength in customization, segmentation, rich-media measurement, as well as marketing integration.
- Unica: A marketing automation player, Unica's Web analytics is well-integrated with its marketing solutions and offers what Forrester calls the "most flexible and customizable" offering evaluated. The vendor is also recognized for strong scenario/funnel analysis, visitor segmentation, and ad hoc analysis.
- Webtrends: Webtrends may have released its Analytics 9 solution after Lovett closed the report in May, but he writes that the company "has undergone the biggest transformation of all vendors evaluated in the past year." Even without having seen the new release, Lovett credits Webtrend's renewed vision, which focuses on corporate and technology openness. "Having a strategy alone," Lovett says, "reassured many of their clients that they were still in the Web analytics game -- not dwindling on the vine."
- Google Analytics: The only vendor in this category, Google Analytics is a free solution that packs a big punch with strong segmentation and custom reporting capabilities, and boasts ease of use.
- AT Internet: The new kid on the block, AT Internet also offers a free offering (XiTi) in addition to a paid one, providing real-time data processing, segmentation, and some customization capabilities. Where it's weak, according to the report, is in the vendor's ability to tie into marketing functions.
- Yahoo! Web Analytics: Free for Yahoo! small business users, Yahoo! provides real-time processing, data drill-down, custom reports, segmentation, and scenarios for e-commerce, but is considered a more limited solution compared to other vendors evaluated.
In terms of innovation, Lovett sees a stronger focus on vendors taking into consideration how their clients are incorporating social media tools into their respective corporate strategies. Generally, solutions are focused more on integrating popular, well-known channels -- namely Twitter -- and the conversations around individuals creating the buzz.
The 2009 Global Web Analytics Forrester Wave Customer Online Survey asked Web analytics users to identify their three most important objectives when selecting a Web analytics vendor. Based on responses from 97 Forrester clients, the top three were:
- accuracy of information....................49 percent;
- ability to service my needs...............49 percent; and
- flexibility of reporting options...........46 percent.
Total cost of ownership followed at a distant fourth, coming in at 26 percent.
As the market continues to grow and change, Lovett says one of the most refreshing things about this industry is its receptivity to user feedback. Most vendors, he says, have advisory boards consisting of clients who will continually push their vendors to provide for them what they need. Among the leaders, differentiation becomes harder as the top vendors compete to provide comprehensive suite solutions. Every Web analytics solution should be able to measure, monitor, track, and report, but companies often have requirements unique to their operations. Customization, then, is critical to success, Lovett says. Moreover, Lovett does see vendors leading with different strengths in specialty areas, including funnel analysis, rich media measurement, and multicampaign management.
Going forward, as Web analytics continues to evolve and gain importance in the enterprise, Lovett says he wouldn't be surprised if acquisitions -- as early as this year -- shake up the leaderboard.
News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.