Freeing Metrics From Fraud and Rejection

Coremetrics announced Coremetrics 2005, its June release designed to increase accuracy by allowing e-commerce organizations to remove fraudulent or rejected orders from their analytic reporting measurements. It also issues first-party cookies, allowing companies to gather more information about customers who typically reject third-party cookies. Last, it includes a visualization tool that provides comprehensive analysis of customer Web-browsing patterns. The company has three objectives with Coremetrics 2005: accuracy, flexibility, and enhanced domain expertise for retail, financial services, and travel. John Squire, vice president of product management for Coremetrics, says, "The biggest [objective] is to enhance the accuracy of all the data we've collected." This issue is being addressed with Coremetrics Transaction Reconciliation, which allows businesses to deal with orders or applications that are canceled or rejected in the back office with data submitted from the Web browser. "Web analytics is about demand, but it doesn't bring in what's going on offline," Squire says. "Coremetrics is bridging that application process that every online company goes through." Roughly 6 percent of online orders e-commerce organizations receive are rejected or canceled because of suspicions of fraud, according to an online-fraud report. Financial services institutions see common application rejections due to insufficient funds. The new tool allows companies to take those factors into account when measuring conversion rates and other metrics, according to Squire. For example, if a bank is getting a number of loan applications submitted from a particular site, but most of those applications are rejected, advertising on that site may be more trouble than it's worth. Another feature of Coremetrics 2005 is TruePath, an integrated visualization tool that provides complex scenario event modeling. It builds a funnel, grouping pages to a key event. For example, if a company has a loyalty program it wants people to sign up for, it can track the pages an individual jumped from that eventually resulted in the sign-up. "Most applications use sales as a key metrics point. Coremetrics allows any event to be a key metrics and then ties that back to what helped [the company] do this," Squire says. "We've recognized companies' analytics and IT time is very scarce, so [now] they can set these paths up quickly, determine if they're successful, and then decide what action they want to take going forward." Another enhancement is a first-party cookie tool for customer data collection, available through a hosted domain, which will allow clients to upgrade from existing third-party tracking without any loss of historical customer profiles, according to Coremetrics. Using such techniques, the company says its clients typically see anonymous rates below 1 percent of all visitor traffic compared to as high as 20 percent when leveraging third-party cookies. Eric Peterson, senior analyst with Jupiter Research, sees an increasing trend toward third party-cookie rejection. "We have oodles and oodles of proof that says this is a problem, so vendors should be focused on this," he says. "Cookie deletion is still an issue, but at least they're doing something, they're being proactive about it." Peterson lauds Coremetrics' decision to address the fraud issues companies must deal with when attempting to gather accurate metrics, and is confident in the vendor's ability to provide useful solutions. "We're going to see them really tackle fraud and [application rejection]. It increases the accuracy." Related articles: WebTrends' 7.5 Includes a Recipe for Cookie Cutters
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