The Never-Ending Story
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Perspective and understanding, especially in business, are never bad things, though often hard to come by. That's why CompUSA's relationship with marketing analytics firm Coremetrics has been so rewarding for the computer and electronics retail giant. Since June 2001, whenever Coremetrics would begin beta testing a new addition to its suite, CompUSA was given the opportunity to be a part of those tests. This arrangement allows Coremetrics to test its new solutions with a large customer and provides CompUSA with a steadily growing suite to handle its Web-site management.

In February of this year, for example, Coremetrics released an upgrade to its site-pathing that CompUSA had been using prior to the release to track customers on its site and improve user experience throughout the shopping experience online. Later this year Coremetrics will release a customizable interface for the Marketforce solution; CompUSA will beta test that as well, beginning early this summer.

It was the success of the first beta test Coremetrics and CompUSA teamed on that has fostered such a longstanding relationship between vendor and customer.

Al Hurlebaus, CompUSA's director of e-commerce, had wanted more out of the company's Web site after its relaunch in October 2000. So when the opportunity to partner with Coremetrics came along in June 2001, the company jumped at it. The Web analytics that Marketforce generated over the first six months of the testing run helped CompUSA begin to understand what its customers were experiencing on its Web site, according to Hurlebaus. Given the success of those analytics, CompUSA began a consulting relationship with Coremetrics that provided CompUSA with access to such Coremetrics executives as Vice President of Product Development Brian Platter, and company founder Brett Hurt. According to Hurlebaus, CompUSA is in constant contact with Coremetrics, and holds weekly phone briefings during any beta process to discuss the progress of the new solutions.

The results of the consulting were apparent very early on in the relationship, Hurlebaus says. "The consulting project with Coremetrics was tremendous, because it helped us to develop our knowledge of Marketforce and educated us on its use for site improvement and functionality, resulting in increased sales," he says.

When Coremetrics rolled out its Marketforce marketing analytics platform in May 2002, CompUSA already had nearly a year's experience using it. Since then CompUSA has relied on Coremetrics for all its Web analytic and marketing automation needs.

Hurlebaus says Coremetrics has helped CompUSA change the way it looked at and used its Web site in terms of both sales and marketing. "We discovered that customer site behavior didn't support our site-optimization expectations. This was a real wake-up call. We began exploring the checkout process and the compare process page by page, and discovered some inconsistencies, which we then corrected," Hurlebaus says. "This resulted in great strides in improving click throughs, process flow, and additional sales." www.coremetrics.com

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