Multi-Channel E-Commerce Platform Webgility Adds Full-Funnel Intelligence Tool
Called Highlight, the new product points the nine-year-old San Francisco company beyond small business operations and analytics and toward strategies for growth.
Connecting marketing spend to generated net revenue can be more art than science. To help bend that necessary activity toward a trail of facts, multi-channel e-commerce platform Webgility is today launching a new business intelligence solution, Highlight.
It represents a new direction for the nine-year-old company, founder and CEO Parag Mamnani told me.
Previously, Webgility’s focus has been on providing a single platform to manage key systems for small to medium-sized retailers in the $1 million to $20 million annual revenue range.
Webgility has been used by thousands of retailers to run such operations as printing shipping labels, managing inventory or reporting straightforward stats like revenue from such specific sales channels as Amazon or Shopify.
Now, it is expanding the number and kinds of operations in a business that are feeding data and connecting that information in ways that point beyond operational efficiency to strategies for growth.
In Highlight, shipping software can now report its costs, for instance, payment systems can show transactional expenses and inventory systems can better determine actual costs of fulfillment. Connections to Google AdWords and email marketing services MailChimp and Constant Contact can relate marketing/ad spend to leads, sales results and fulfillment costs.
The company expects to soon add Highlight connections to other sources like tax payment services. Mamnani also suggested it could integrate at some point with larger marketing platforms like Marketo or Salesforce’s Pardot.
A business could discover through Highlight, for instance, that its marketing emphasis on free shipping was not worth the cost, because only slightly more than half of new customers were lured by that offer. Or, in real time, it could employ the average order volume for each sales channel to inform each channel’s marketing spend.
“Highlight is an evolution of our entire business,” Mamnani said. With the new offering, he said, retailers can more easily understand larger-picture relationships, like profitability by order or total marketing costs by sales channel.
This new direction, he said, targets “an entirely different segment of our customer base” that’s not just looking for operational efficiency but also wants insights about how to grow the business and increase profitability.
For small businesses, Mamnani said, tracking results “through the whole funnel” impacts the overall marketing return-on-investment, going beyond a simple determination of cost per lead resulting from an AdWords spend. In other words, the hidden parts of the funnel that include, say, shipping costs or inventory management.
“Now you can say, ‘what is the actual net profit generated’” from a marketing or ad budget, he said.
Of course, there is no shortage of analytical and business intelligence tools out there. Mamnani pointed to competitor Jirafe, which similarly provides analytics to merchants, but he said they don’t provide the range of sources and the comparisons that Highlight offers.
Larger business intelligence solutions like Looker and Domo “leave all the heavy lifting to the user,” he said, while the e-commerce-focused Highlight has click-to-connect connectivity to other platforms’ cloud APIs and requires “no configuration, installation or onboarding.” Available as a standalone product, Highlight is also priced for the lower end, starting at $50/month.
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