Shoplocal was born in 1999 under the name SalesHound.com to provide one place for consumers to go to find local sales in their area – often through coupon circulars. As technology has advanced, the company has evolved to offer sophisticated solutions to reach shoppers digitally with the goal of driving in-store sales.
With more than 80 retail clients, Shoplocal takes in each store’s unique promotional data – reviews, circulars, product information and more – and decomposes it, tags it and makes it available through an API. Shoplocal then builds and hosts responsive design sites customized to match each retailer’s own website to drive sales and meet specific business goals.
Shoplocal hosts retailer local circulars for some of the largest retailers in the U.S. The company needed to be able to measure traffic, identify its sources and provide a clear picture of how consumers engage with promotional data on each of those sites.
“One significant benefit of our service is that we can share insights from data we analyze across a number of clients,” said Jennifer Smith, a senior analyst at Shoplocal. “It’s important for us to identify best practices across similar retailers – large grocery stores, for example – and share with those clients so they can improve their sites and make data-driven decisions.”
Shoplocal uses Webtrends Analytics on each of its retailer sites to collect unlimited visitor data. Each retailer is given individual user logins to access their own data, dashboards and reports through the Webtrends platform.
“Our clients love it,” said Robert Cucinotta, Sr. Director of Software Development and Quality. “It empowers them to make data-driven decisions about how to manage their promotions and other important marketing efforts.”
Shoplocal is also using Webtrends Explore, a tool within Webtrends Analytics, to slice and dice data on the fly.
“Sometimes you don’t know what questions you want to ask of your data ahead of time,” said Smith. “So you might not have a report set up but Explore lets you quickly get answers at any time.”
Shoplocal has used data to compile a number of best practices for its clients including ideal circular length, where a ‘shopping list’ tool is best utilized and how to increase social sharing. By aggregating data across sites and segmenting it by retailer type – department store or grocery store, for example – they are able to share powerful insights with their clients.
The reliable and robust data has also proved useful in providing proof to the company’s clients about going forward with a new platforms or additional services. One example is a large retailer that Shoplocal suggested move to its latest platform called “SmartDeals.”
“We were able to prove out that using our newest platform was the right option for the company,” explained Cucinotta, “We could make incremental changes in features and then use the data to test what was working better with visitors. In the end, the data was the proof the company needed to make a full push to the new platform.”
Smith also points to a recent happy client benefitting from the use of Explore.
“One of our clients had run a test on their site, varying the promotional content by geographic region,” she said. “After the test had completed, I was able to use Explore to create some ad hoc reports that segmented the metrics by both promotion and geography. Without Explore, I would not have been able to go back in time and segment the data by those specific dimensions along with pulling in a broader range of measures. The flexibility of not having to define all possible reports before a site event occurs is very powerful.”