Thursday, November 19, 2009

Runa Offers Conversion Marketing Shopping Cart Tool

Runa (Mountain View, CA) has announced the release of “Conversion Marketing,” designed to enable retailers to offer customers real-time individualized pricing incentives online, picking up where SEO and Search Engine Marketing stop by pro-actively converting Web traffic into sales.

While traditional price optimization solutions have been rule-based tools, using data analysis from historical patterns, Runa Co-Founder & CEO Ashok Narasimhan pointed out that conversion marketing-focused solutions are goal-based and designed to allow real-time data to be combined with underlying data such as cost of goods. Rather than simply setting a price and establishing a corresponding markdown and promotion strategy, Narasimhan said conversion marketing tools are intelligent and learn over time.

“From the outset, we set out to address this opportunity in online marketing with a new approach; one that works within the conversion optimization funnel — not outside of it,” said Narasimhan. “Runa focuses on 'the last inch' with a new approach to convert traffic into sales for our customers.”

Runa has defined conversion marketing by several key factors, including:
  • Real-time shopper segmentation: Understanding the context of shoppers by using pre-click and post-click information.
  • Prediction of purchase intent: Dynamically determining the purchase intent for the items a shopper is currently looking at.
  • Profit-optimized sale pricing: Using the e-tailer’s business rules and analytics to determine the best sale price for each shopper (see last paragraph below).
  • Real-time delivery of profit-optimized sale pricing: Dynamically delivering profit-optimized sale prices to individual shoppers while they are still on an e-tailer’s site. Additionally, the presentation and offer acceptance must be seamless on the e-tailer’s site.
The demo on their Website shows how runa can be used to make a pre-determined offer to a shopper who is about to abandon a shopping cart, but not how it can determine the "best sale price for each shopper." Presumably the demo is for the legacy version, not the just-introduced Conversion Marketing module. If the new platform truly has the level of AI described, it will live up to its name, which is Scandinavian for "undiscovered knowledge."

What's interesting at the moment, though, is that runa doesn’t cost anything to operate. You pay runa only for sales where it helped you close the deal with a "dynamic" sale price.

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