Analysis Lifts Online Orders at T-Mobile

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Wireless provider T-Mobile increased online orders 27 percent using a process called WebTrends Scenario Analysis to gauge how site visitors converted through the shopping cart by observing where the key drop-offs occurred.


By knowing where visitors were abandoning the shopping cart, T-Mobile could make changes to the pertinent pages at www.t-mobile.com and remove unnecessary steps. This way, the German-owned company tests repeatedly to improve sales online for its wireless packages.


"T-Mobile was able to increase the effectiveness of its online self-service and thus bring down call center costs, which is a top goal for T-Mobile," said Brent Hieggelke, vice president of marketing for WebTrends, a unit of NetIQ Corp., San Jose, CA.


Pinpointing features that needed more visibility also led to a 62 percent growth in traffic in the self-service area of t-mobile.com. Exact savings were not disclosed, but cost per touch online is 24 cents compared with an undisclosed amount several times higher for cost per touch in the call center.


In keeping with its other objective of generating e-commerce, T-Mobile identified where and why visitors dropped out of the checkout process to improve the online store. WebTrends Scenario Analysis was used to create a conversion funnel to keep track of the key drop-offs.


From that knowledge, T-Mobile created a baseline and then introduced changes. For instance, the wireless provider saw a high drop-off from the accessories page in the middle of the checkout process. That page was deleted along with another unnecessary step. This enticed people further into the decision process, and they were more likely to complete an online order.


The use of WebTrends was led by T-Mobile's desire to shift ownership of Web analytics from its IT department to marketing. WebTrends' ally ZAAZ, a Seattle Web design and strategy firm, was brought in to make this happen.


"Once we got analytics pulled into our team, it became something that we could own and drive," said Melissa Cornwell, business intelligence analyst for T-Mobile.


"We knew that we needed more information, and ZAAZ helped us get that," she said. "But they also showed us things that we didn't even know we needed or was available. With the WebTrends Reporting Center Enterprise Edition, we now have that insight we need to meet our goals."


Competing with Verizon Wireless, Cingular, AT&T Wireless and Nextel, T-Mobile offers digital voice, messaging and high-speed wireless data services to more than 13.1 million customers in the United States.


Companies like T-Mobile typically have more than 80 business users across departments. Such multiple groups within a company can use metrics from a Web analytics solution for smarter decision making.


But this insight often is overlooked, Hieggelke said.


"We often notice that significant improvements are typically achieved from making incremental changes on the Web site on an ongoing basis rather than requiring a major Web site overhaul," he said.


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