Keynote Services Test Transactions

Indexes target online banking and retail.

Keynote Systems Inc. last week delved deeper into a vertical focus on online performance benchmarking services, launching a pair of transaction testing services aimed at online banking and retail.

Keynote at the Forrester Finance Forum in New York unveiled what it said is the first Consumer E-Commerce Transaction Index along with the Keynote e-Banking Transaction Index, which both allow customers to compare the performance of their e-commerce systems with specific competitors and the industry average.

The indexes emulate steps a typical consumer takes to buy products or execute online banking functions. For the Keynote Consumer E-Commerce Transaction Index, the steps include accessing the home page, searching for a product, viewing the product, adding the product to a shopping cart, going to checkout and logging in to an account for purchase.

The online banking steps include accessing the bank home page, clicking on log-in to online banking or account access, entering log-in information, checking balance or viewing transaction log, and logging out.

Keynote officials said customers want more "actionable data" that is pertinent to their business and that they want to understand what they can do to boost performance.

"Theyre bridging the gap between traditional IT measurements and business intelligence measurements," said Dennis Gaughan, an analyst at AMR Research Inc., in Boston. "Keynote deals mostly with IT. Now they can branch out to other parts of the organization."

The index data can show IT and marketing people how their e-commerce transactions stack up to competitors (see screen); they can trend the performance of their vertical relative to other e-commerce verticals; they can establish realistic internal and external objectives for Web transactions performance; and they can see where poor or failed transaction performance could lead to lost revenue.

In banking, where an increasing number of customers are doing business online, solid data can help justify to management the need for further investments in the site, said Mike Lenart, chief technology officer at JP Morgan Investments LLC. "You need some justification to say, I need to increase transaction rates by 10 percent. It fills out the picture and lets us set expectations," Lenart said.

For the retail index, Keynote chose to include 16 companies that had the highest visitor traffic, online revenues and consumer interest. The product used in the transaction represents a popular item that a customer would buy at each particular site.

For the online banking index, Keynote will include 10 to 12 sites and use a similar selection criteria. While the retail index is available now, the banking index wont be available until next month.