A service launching today will give I-managers the chance to analyze clickstream data from virtually any site on the Web - including those of their most ardent competitors.
Web analytics firm WebSideStory and traffic monitoring firm comScore Networks are announcing the HitBox Benchmarker service they say provides the virtual X-ray vision.
Until now, I-managers wanting to learn how users navigated a competitors Web site could only guess. Several companies provide overall hit numbers for particular sites, but that information doesnt show how consumers have responded to specific advertisements or special offers. Nor does it show the paths visitors followed to get to a particular page.
The service uses clickstream information garnered from a number of comScores 1.5 million users, all of whom have agreed to let the company monitor their Web usage. After the clickstream data has been stripped of any personal information, WebSideStory offers it to subscribers, who can view Web traffic and analytic information from almost any Web site. The data includes metrics such as which page draws the most traffic, which search engines refer the most users or what time of day brings in the most new visitors.
So far, Web analytics have "focused on understanding whats happening on your own site. This is first time the same level of detail will be available for any industry-leading site you want to benchmark against, as well as your competitive peer group," said Stuart Finn, comScores vice president of sales and client services.
The service already has a customer: BestBuy.com, the site operated by retailing giant Best Buy. The new service is more accurate at tracking online behavior because comScore has a larger number of users than other tracking services, said Barry Judge, vice president of marketing of BestBuy.com. In addition, the benchmarking service will let Best Buy "learn how people are canvassing our site versus our competition," he said.
The service will cost roughly $100,000 per year for full clickstream data from five Web sites. Additional sites will cost about $20,000 each. The service will be sold by both comScore and WebSideStory, which will share revenue from the venture.