Mercent, Coremetrics partner to manage online shopping feeds

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Mercent Corp., a provider of online retail merchandising technology, has partnered with Web analytics firm Coremetrics to launch a new platform called Coremetrics Marketplace Powered by Mercent.

The online marketing platform is designed to consolidate the management of online shopping feeds and automate cost-per-click bids, category management and product assortments. Bass Pro Shops, Levenger, SmartBargains and ExOfficio, all joint clients of Mercent and Coremetrics, are using the platform.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time that a leading Web analytics firm has offered a turnkey integrated solution for data feed marketing and shopping feed management," said Eric Best, CEO of Mercent, Seattle.

"Reciprocally, I'm not aware of any data feed marketing vendor that offers native, integrated support of a leading retail analytics platform," he said.

In essence, Coremetrics, San Mateo, CA, is selling and servicing Mercent's technology under the Coremetrics Marketplace Powered by Mercent name.

The deal benefits retailers in several ways, according to Mr. Best.

First, merchants can view the performance data collected by Coremetrics tracking tags within Mercent Retail. They can use that information to automate shopping feeds to more than 35 different portals and marketplaces using Mercent Retail, including Shopzilla and Yahoo Shopping.

Second, Mercent collects advertising spend data from these shopping engines and makes it available within Coremetrics. Merchants then can more accurately track and optimize for better return on advertising spend, Mr. Best said.

Finally, with the 200-plus retailers already running Coremetrics analytics, integration with Mercent no longer requires the merchant to install a separate tagging code.

"Our software works with the tracking tags already installed across the retailer's Web site," Mr. Best said.

Bass Pro Shops claims to have seen a significant lift in return on advertising spend and lower cost per order since using Coremetrics Marketplace Powered by Mercent.

The alliance between Mercent and Coremetrics addresses a couple of market frustrations.

"The key business challenges facing retailers include being able to measure the performance of separate channels using common metrics within a single dashboard and then take action on that information," Mr. Best said. "The integration of Coremetrics and Mercent technology addresses both challenges.

"One of the key technical challenges retailers face when adopting any new marketing platform, vendor or channel is the need to separately tag, or modify the software code, of their own Web site in order to track and report on that channel or vendor's performance," he said. "This eliminates the need for separate tagging."

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