Published on 01-Sep-2011
Validated on 01 Mar 2013
"We are constantly stiving to improve our business model and deliver optimal service. NetInsight provides us with a major competitive advantage because we are able to better understand changing visitor needs and trends and engage more effectively with them. NetInsight’s flexibility in reporting and analyzing web behaviors saves us considerable time and money." - Cathleen Stewart, VP of Marketing, Batteries Plus
Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing
Batteries Plus is the largest retail and B2B chain focused on the battery category, serving millions of customers annually. As the leading single source supplier of national and control brands, custom built battery packs, and battery-related products, Batteries Plus has over 450 stores and a comprehensive online destination. It sells everything from common AA batteries to hard-to-find specialty batteries, and offers unparalleled selection, knowledge, and service for industries ranging from medicine to construction.
• Get accurate, timely information for decision-making • Help customers consistently find the right product in the right channel• Become more proactive and strategic about long-term decision-making • Use web analytics to support business growth and change and control costs
• A next-generation Web analytics product designed to meet the full range of online analysis requirements with minimal complexity
• Data accuracy raised from 35-40 percent to 95-100 percent • Reduced franchise sales compensation costs • Strategic insight for future projects • More actionable information for locating new franchise stores
Batteries Plus had become dissatisfied with its previous web analytics solution, which delivered inaccurate information, was supported poorly, and was inflexible. Meanwhile, its web analytics provider was purchased by a larger firm, which informed Batteries Plus it would eventually have to migrate to an even more complex solution. Batteries Plus’ leadership decided to investigate alternatives.
“When we did our side-by-side comparison, IBM® NetInsight® stood out in several ways,” said Chris Beres, Web Manager for Batteries Plus. “First, while we are not the world’s biggest site, we are growing. We were impressed by how willing IBM Unica’s customer service organization was to help support our growth. We knew our usage would evolve as our site evolved. They were willing to work with us on that—and without ‘nickel-and-diming’ us to do it.”
Batteries Plus was also impressed with IBM NetInsight’s flexibility. Francois Michot, Web Marketing Analyst, explains: “We asked about several complex scenarios where we would want to know something specific about our visitors, and IBM Unica was able to show us how to get the solution right on the spot, right away, every time. None of IBM Unica’s competitors could match that.”
“Our web designer uses IBM NetInsight; our vice president has access to it, and they both see its power compared to what they had before. It is just night-and-day better. I am responsible for creating reports, and I rarely need support. I can submit my reports to executives in full HTML, or any other way they want—and I can generate new reports right away. With the old system,” continued Michot, “I had to manually review each report, and email people one at a time. Now, I can just create a custom report dashboard, and my reports are generated and delivered—automatically.”
Accuracy that Batteries Plus can rely upon
Before implementing IBM NetInsight, Batteries Plus had serious concerns about the accuracy of its analytics data. “We would pull reports from one area that would completely contradict what we were getting elsewhere,” said Beres. “When it came to tracking revenue,” Michot added, “we concluded that our web analytics data was only 30-40 percent correct—and our previous vendor said the problem could not be fixed.”
“IBM Unica was determined to make sure it was right,” said Beres, “and our dedicated technical account manager took the effort to make sure of that.” “Now, our revenue information is consistently 95-100 percent accurate,” said Michot. “For us, that is obviously a huge positive.”
Understanding everything that happens on BatteriesPlus.com
With the accuracy problem solved, said Michot, “our goal now is to understand everything that happens on our site. If we can do that, we can begin providing solutions that increase conversion rates, both for our online e-commerce site and for our franchised stores. We can make it far easier for customers to find what they want, whether they prefer to shop online or in a local store.”
“Before we implemented IBM NetInsight, this was impossible. For instance, we might know we’d made a sale to a customer that reached us by using the keyword ‘Batteries Plus.’ But to get more detail about that visitor’s behavior was impossible. Now, we can segment our affiliates and reliably determine exactly who was responsible for that sale through the use of IBM NetInsight’s built-in web behavior data mart.” This detailed referral information does not just help Batteries Plus track customer behavior, it helps the company manage its affiliate program more effectively. Using this information, the company uncovered purchases that were actually being made by Batteries Plus’ own customer service representatives, but were being incorrectly credited to affiliates.
Since Batteries Plus makes most of its sales through franchised stores, its site must help customers find those stores quickly and easily. “If customers are not finding us, that becomes a big problem, really fast. Now, we can precisely track all of that. We can also measure how many people are visiting from a DMA where we do not have a store. Our franchise sales group can use that information to target new locations, and pursue new franchisees where they’ll be most profitable.”
Proactive tracking of visitors using nontraditional devices
Thanks to IBM NetInsight’s flexibility, Batteries Plus can become more proactive in making key strategic decisions about its site. For example, the company is already leveraging IBM NetInsight’s web data mart to understand usage patterns from traffic generated by next-generation mobile devices and entertainment systems such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, Wii, PS3, hand-held gaming devices, and netbooks.
“To decide how we should approach mobile applications and sites, we will need to understand what our mobile users expect from us. For example, will they want to shop online, or to find local stores? We have built reports that give us the information we will need in order to make those decisions.”
“Our previous solution might have been able to filter iPhone users based on browser, but that is about it—and the same was true for the demos we saw from some of IBM Unica’s competitors,” said Michot. “But what if we wanted to know who purchased? Or how many visitors came from a specific site? Using IBM NetInsight’s ‘sticky filter’ feature, I can find out anything I want to know about this segment—or any other segment. The possibilities are endless.”
Learning from failed searches “We’re definitely a product-focused company,” said Beres. “We need to have what people want, when they need it. That means understanding exactly how our site search features are performing. Using IBM NetInsight, we can track searches that list products available on our web site, searches that list products that are only available in our stores, and ‘failed searches’ for products we do not have at all.”
“Based on this, we have made business decisions to add products online, such as batteries for iRobot’s Roomba and Scooba household robots. The additional information is helping us improve our offline merchandising and product selection, too.”
“We can also understand whether we are losing customers based on how we are presenting our search results. We can see whether someone struggled to find a product—and if they are struggling, we can figure out why, and change our site to make things easier to find.”
About IBM Unica solutions
IBM Unica products are innovative marketing solutions that turn your passion for marketing into business success. Our comprehensive approach to interactive marketing enables organizations worldwide to understand their customers and use that understanding to engage buyers in highly relevant, interactive dialogues across digital, social, and traditional marketing channels.
Recognized as a leading integrator of enterprise systems for multiple industries, we help organizations with a wide variety of projects, analyzing real-time information and returning measurable value to stakeholders. In addition, we provide worldwide support for a variety of industry-partner content, services and applications.
For more information
To learn more about IBM Unica products, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/info/unica.
Smarter Commerce: An integrated approach
IBM Unica products are part of the IBM Smarter Commerce initiative. Smarter Commerce is a unique approach that increases the value companies generate for their customers, partners and shareholders in a rapidly changing digital world. To learn more about Smarter Commerce, visit ibm.com/smarterplanet/commerce.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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