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Web analytics turn feedback into sales

Customers can tell you what they need

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Matan Armoni didn't need a prescription to see that visitors to online eyeglass retailer EyeBuyDirect.com were getting fed up and abandoning their shopping carts. Armoni, EyeBuy's e-commerce director, had a hunch that the problem stemmed from the site's virtual imaging tool, EyeTry, which lets customers try on glasses as they would in a shop.

Desperate to curb the dropped sales, Armoni deployed a customer feedback tool from Kampyle. EyeBuy visitors are guided to a customised form by clicking on a strategically placed "feedback" graphic. The form then solicits comments on everything from search capabilities and website security to lens type availability and support options. Employees can view the comments, either individually or grouped into categories such as user location or site feature. Within two weeks of launching Kampyle, Armoni confirmed that it was EyeTry's need for customers to digitally indicate their pupil distance that was causing them to abandon the site altogether.


"We thought it was easy and that you just used your mouse to click on your pupil. But people were getting fed up," he says. A quick modification to EyeTry based on visitor feedback helped to solve the problem completely, says Armoni. "It's just amazing. Since then, there's been a 40 percent increase in conversions."

Tools like Google Analytics help companies keep tabs on page views and unique visitors. But online customer feedback tools from vendors such as Kampyle, Get Satisfaction and UserVoice help businesses gain more in-depth information from their customers. At prices ranging from $49 to $499 a month, such products are generating interest among small businesses and large enterprises alike, says Howard Kiewe, an Info-Tech Research Group analyst. "It's an area that will be more widely deployed only because it's pretty straightforward to implement and not all that costly."

Today, 10 percent of EyeBuyDirect.com's customer communication is done via Kampyle. Now that the company can resolve issues on the spot, Armoni says, glitches are addressed in a fraction of the time it took before, and the process no longer requires time-consuming tests. "With Kampyle, I know exactly where people are experiencing a problem," says Armoni. "Those two minutes could easily save me a day's work."

Still, Kiewe warns companies of the trap of gathering feedback for feedback's sake. "Just collecting data isn't of much use. You have to put it into action," he says.

For this reason, Armoni says EyeBuy has incorporated its customer feedback into strategic business decisions. For example, 30 percent of customer comments relate to merchandising, so now inventory reflects customers' buying patterns-demonstrating that listening to your customers makes good business sense.

Description: Launched in 2005, EyeBuyDirect.com is a prescription eyewear website that offers an extensive range of frame and lens packages.

How EyeBuyDirect.com Saved: By soliciting feedback from visitors using customized forms, EyeBuyDirect.com increased conversion rates from its virtual imaging tool by 40 percent. Routing tech-related feedback to an IT manager ensures that glitches are resolved in a quarter or a fifth of the time it took before.

Tool Used: Kampyle's Website Feedback Solution

Time Frame: The solution was up and running within 24 hours of inserting a simple piece of code into EyeBuyDirect.com.

Try Different Options: Although a cinch to deploy, Kampyle required some fine-tuning and plenty of experimentation to establish which questions-and web pages-would elicit the most customer feedback.

Review Comments Promptly: Because collecting and analyzing feedback is time-intensive, e-commerce director Matan Armoni allots nearly 30 minutes a day to sifting through visitors' comments, as well as responding to the occasional customer complaint. An IT manager also ensures that tech-related feedback is vetted daily.

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