Web Analytics Lifts Northwest's WorldPerks

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Northwest Airlines has seen a 10 percent monthly conversion rate for its WorldPerks Mall after using Web analytics, Brian Ficek, manager of commerce sales and strategy at the airline, told attendees at a pre-conference session Oct. 19 at the Direct Marketing Association show here.


WorldPerks Mall is an electronic storefront for WorldPerks partners and their products and services. Partners offer mile-based promotions for nwa.com customers, and all orders are fulfilled online. Members include FTD.com, AT&T Worldnet, Coldwater Creek, National Car Rental and LendingTree.


The mall aims to create incentives for customers to visit nwa.com, complement the integrated travel planning functionality of nwa.com, drive referrals of WorldPerks members motivated by miles and reward brand-loyal customers, Fieck said.


Northwest is using HitBox Enterprise, a Web analytics service from WebSideStory, to relate Web and click-through analysis to confirmed orders and offers.


The service provides detailed, real-time information about online visitor and customer behavior that can be used to increase sales and profitability. With it, the airline analyzes customer page views and unique visitors to the site and tracks where visitors went on the site and what interested them.


For example, the service helped the company learn that the top eight partners represent 81 percent of the program's revenue, so NWA highlighted those companies on the WorldPerks Mall home page. As a result, "we saw conversion rates increase from 4 percent on a monthly basis when we first started the mall to currently 10 percent conversion rates on a monthly basis," Ficek said.


Northwest also found that selling miles was a much stronger revenue stream than originally thought, prompting a rise in the number of strategically placed advertisements for miles around the site. As a result, the airline has increased both the number of customers using its site and the sale of air miles.


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