I’ve been all over Europe lately, scouting out Web Analytics talent, as anyone in the sector looking to hire and push forward this great line of work we’re all in aka Web Analytics. I have to admit that my home country, the Netherlands, had never been really high on the list, for several reasons. I won’t go into that.
To my astonishment, I did however witness last week during the “Eerste Nederlandse Webanalyticscongres” some high level activity going on over there and already blogged a couple of days ago about Postbank as banking remains close to my heart.
I did want to go into what I learned from an interesting guy called Bert Wiggers, who’s reponsible for different websites such as www.nu.nl, www.overzicht.nl and the topic of this post, www.kieskeurig.nl.
So, what is Kieskeurig?
It’s a product comparison website, like Yahoo’s Kelkoo. This one describes itself as the “interactive buying guide, for and by consumers” and is only available in Dutch.
A bit of history: it was bought by Ilse Media in July 2006, which does ring bells as I remember using Ilse before the advent of Google, when we still wondered which search engine to use per country, back in my first start up days.
It was built up organically by 2 people, holds a 70’s look (according to Mr. Wiggers’ daughter) but let’s face it, does what it’s supposed to do: help potential customers choose the best product according to their needs. And knowledge of what works/clicks best is usually within those peoples minds. One couldn’t emphasise enough on brains and processes 🙂
It was built in… Lotus Notes! That was my first surprise and to paraphrase Mr. Wiggers “it’s like ploughing a big field with a very small tractor. Yes, great work but a larger tractor would have been more efficient”. I suddenly saw the smiling face of François Bayrou, the French centrist who got 17% of electoral votes in the first round of the French elections. He also seemed to compare things with tractors and is in the opposition I suppose now. Wonder what he did with the tractor…
In any case, getting back to these courageous people of Kieskeurig, they see peeks during certain periods such as worldcups when everyone wants a flat screen TV, radios, etc. and roughly hold the following traffic: 100 000 to 150 000 unique visitors a day; 1,3 million page views/day and something like 1,5 million click-outs/month. That’s where they make the money.
Mr. Wiggers also mentioned the importance of reviews and quoted 170 000 unique visitors having written 550 000 reviews. I’ll let you do the average of reviews per uv but couldn’t help wonder about which percentage of uv actually did write a review and there particularities. It should be a rather small percentage who do actually write reviews and I for one am certainly influenced by them. It’s an interesting topic in an age where everybody mentions user generated content and flungs with the words Web 2.0 a bit all too often, in my taste. But indeed, of essence and certainly for such websites as it influences sales as they represent some 450 shops online.
Mr. Wiggers continud by mentioning his organisation amongst which 10 content editors and the interesting mention of Spiderman. Would that be someone responsible for high rankings in Search Engines?
The business model was briefly described, where Kieskeurig charges per impression, clic through, lead or sale, accoridng to the business model. The impression bit is not really worth while except for sites such as www.nu.nl where people read news but they prefer to focus more on clickthrough rates, which range between 12 and 20 euro cents, according to the negotiations.
It’s clear that for a website such as for example www.overzicht.nl, when thinking about retribution for for example morgage links, CTR could mount up to 1,50 euros. It all depends what you want to sell, for which industry and according to which model.
After all, the name of the game is to define what to put in front of the visitor in order to assure that he goes through the process. Which sometimes brings to a funny collaboration (grappig samenspel) between the editing team and the commercial teams: even if some links don’t make commercial sense, you can’t do without mentioning the Royal Dutch Family on some Startpaginas, even though you know it won’t click. So, it’s a matter of knowing what clicks but also common sense (hoofd & verstand) in order to creat win-win situations for all parties involved.
Except for the explanation of the business model and the interesting personnal touch Mr. Wiggers added to the presentation, it was mainly the second part of his discourse that actually cought my eye: about the GfK Kieskeurig Webtracking tool.
Apparently, GfK measures cashregisters in the Netherlands from multiple retailers, mainly hard consumer goods such as TV, radio, etc., and some smart guy talked to Kieskeurig in order to put their data next to the Kieskeurig clickouts.
The results were astonishing: there’s clearly a correlation between clicks, down to the product level, and actual sales. Though this is not predictive data, it is a clear indication of correlation between online and off line behaviour! We’ve always beeen talking about influence of purchasing by the online channel, here it is, black on white for everyone to see.
It goes down to the product level and putting online and off line data next to one another actually allows brands to see how well they compete on certain products. Creating a ratio for example of over or under representation in terms of actual sales compared to the online purchase intent can bring smart marketers to very interesting findings and new ways to influence off line sales, except for the traditional sales bonus which influences you intent to purchase ratio.
It’s really about that: online orientation & off line purchase, listening to the voice of the customer 🙂
So, the product is called GfK Kieskeurig WebTracking, and is in use for the moment by a dozen clients, mainly to hardware retailers.
Overall, the 2 presentations of this First Dutch Congres were really good, I’d even say Emetrics level, really! so congratulations on that to the organisors amongst which BPP and Marketing Facts. Marco Derksem made a great job of resuming the events of the day. In Dutch, sorry Lars.
I was also thrilled to see Eric share the European data of his survey with the participants and blog about his Dutch experience. Safe flight home and talk to you soon!
My only regret was that I thought the introduction and the pannel discussion was a bit of a lower level, but still pleasantly brought by Eduard de Wilde, whoom I finally had the pleasure to meet in person, a fine gentelman indeed, who appreciates Joshua Redman 😉
Looking forward to the next Dutch event, such a good excuse to get back to the home country.