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TeaLeaf Shows Why Shoppers Don't Complete Online Sales

Posted by iTech - 2005-11-09

As the holiday shopping season nears, TeaLeaf Technology is urging retailers to apply brick and mortar customer service standards to online business.

The company, based in San Francisco, helps businesses ensure that online consumers complete their transactions.

Tea Leaf offers a view of the customer experience and replicates customers’ transactions with a view through their browser. The information can be gleaned in real time and from digital archives. A comprehensive database, an add-on data extractor, and graphics help uncover obstacles that are preventing transaction completion.

"It’s like TiVo for the Web," CEO Rebecca Ward said during an interview in New York City Tuesday.

Though the software can be tailored to banking, insurance and a wide range of other businesses, executives are touting retail applications as shopping is expected to approach its annual peak. The company boasts Wal-Mart's online Web site as one of its many big-name customers and offers a way for businesses to take full advantage of analysts' predictions for healthy online holiday shopping this year.

Unlike companies that focus on site functioning, speed, redundancy, load balancing and performance applications, TeaLeaf helps businesses identify, analyze and respond to problems undetected losses.

“These are million-dollar problems that companies don't even know are happening,” Geoff Galat, vice president of Marketing and Strategy said during Tuesday's interview.

For example, a major banking company placed a credit card application online. It offered people in different income brackets different deals – silver, gold or platinum cards. It was set up so that someone earning more than $150,000 who applied for a gold card would be given the option of upgrading to a platinum card. The same system was in place for someone who applied for silver but qualified for gold. In one hour, more than 80 of the top earners were unable to complete their transactions because they received error messages that the company’s employees had never seen.

With TeaLeaf revealing each step of the process, the bank was able to determine that the Web site wouldn’t allow top earners to apply for silver cards and hadn’t put in place a system for moving them two tiers up.

The TeaLeaf platform isn’t limited to identifying a narrow set of problems. It can show if people are abandoning Web transactions because of pop-ups, bad links and other deterrents.

Galat said business owners should no longer be satisfied with completing 5 percent or less of online sales transactions.

“If you could fill that delta, there’s going to be a huge impact,” he said. “You’ve already spent the money to get them there and you’re losing them at the point of attack.”

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