Web ratings service Nielsen/NetRatings enters the Web usage data analysis arena today with the release of findings comparing the success of traditional retailers hawking their wares online and that of so-called "pure play" e-commerce sites. The study indicates that multi-channel retailers are just as likely to find success online as their "nothing-but-Net" counterparts.
"Companies are beginning to become experienced at not only driving traffic to their Web sites and selling, but creating a holistic business opportunity," said Allen Weiner, vice president of Nielsen/NetRatings' analytic services division, which formed last month.
The findings are part of the first analytical report from the recently founded e-commerce strategies service group, which measured the ratio of site visitors, or "lookers," compared with those users who made online purchases, known as "bookers." The study showed, for example, that Web-only e-tailer Amazon.com converted 8.6 percent of its lookers into bookers, while Hallmark.com, which only recently ramped up its e-commerce offerings, was able to convert 7.5 percent.
But do successful, well-known offline brands succeed online based on their inherent consumer brand recognition? "In some cases it's about brand, but to me it's about value proposition," said Weiner. "I think before companies become successful on the Web, they actually need to sit down and understand what their value proposition is and what the Web does to enhance their value proposition."
Nielsen/NetRatings is a joint venture between Milpitas, Calif.-based NetRatings and Nielsen Media Research, New York.