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6. Web Measurement and the Online Retail Model > 6.1. Hacks 81–90: Introduction

Hacks 81–90: Introduction

The online retail model is fascinating from a web measurement standpoint, if for no other reason than because it is so easily measured. The ability to correlate marketing expenditure and revenue acquisition in near–real time is both satisfying and useful, allowing online marketers to rapidly optimize their strategies to provide the greatest return on investment. Plus, since online retailers have so much invested in web site measurement, many vendors have built out their applications to specifically support the business model, some deploying whole modules for merchandising, others tightly integrating commercial aspects into their non-commerce reporting.

Billions of dollars are spent each year online; estimates put online retail sales in the U.S. at $66 billion in 2004, growing to $130 billion by 2009—six percent of total U.S. retail sales. With this much money changing hands, it’s no surprise that online retailers are intensely focused on understanding how their marketing dollars are being spent and where their sites can be optimized to increase sales. Additionally, it is estimated that by 2009, nearly 70% of Internet users will be making purchases online, highlighting the need to ensure that the buying process is not just “OK” or “good enough” but instead “delightful”—processes that will encourage people to come back again and a....


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