– To help boost conversion rates from affiliate programs, ePod Corp. (www.epod.com) has launched the ePod. Described as “a transactional showcase,” an ePod enables members of affiliate programs to offer interactive – even transactional – frames within the host’s Website. While the benefit for the affiliated Website is clear, the advantage for the host site is that the consumer who is interested in the affiliate’s offer need not leave the host site and is, in fact, still on the original site even after making a purchase from the affiliate. The New York-based ePod also offers design, merchandising, and production services to support use of the tool.
– Accurately representing colors of merchandise on the Web is particularly important for marketers selling apparel, decor, or luxury goods. Two companies have launched tools that they say will improve color accuracy. Oakdale, MN-based Imation Corp. (www.imation.com) expects to make its Verifi tool widely available in the third quarter of the year. The server-based application resides at the host site. A visitor to a Verifi-enabled site takes a quick color-comparison survey that enables the tool to determine the color biases of the user’s monitor so that it can then adjust the Website’s images accordingly to compensate. The True Internet Color technology from E-Color (www.ecolor.com) works on the same principle. According to the San Francisco-based company, department store Bloomingdale’s, beauty site Indulge.com, and Lucy.com, which sells women’s athletic apparel, are already using the server-based software.
– Having been available on a limited basis in Asia, DecisionEdge for Campaign Management from IBM (www.ibm.com/software) is now available worldwide. IBM created the tool as an affordable option for midsize organizations. Among its key functions, DecisionEdge allows marketers to personalize a single message via multiple offers throughout an entire campaign cycle. It also manages the overall campaign activity to ensure that the most relevant offers reach the most appropriate customers and prospects. The base price for DecisionEdge for Campaign Management is $75,000, plus $7,000 per 100,000 customer records.
– To help personalize e-mail marketing, ClickAction (www.clickaction.com) has embedded the Advisor Solutions Suite from Mountain View, CA-based Blaze Software (www.blazesoft.com) into its E-mail Relationship Management (ERM) service. According to Palo Alto, CA-based ClickAction, the integrated product allows marketers to modify their e-mail offerings based on the recipients’ behavior and other data. Or, to quote from the ClickAction statement, “Rich customer e-mail dialogue, driven by rules-based technology, lets clients offer specifically targeted recommendations based on the companies’ best business and customer-service practices.”
– The IBACK system from Onlinefulfillment.com (formerly Cargo Connection) consists of management tools and back-end solutions designed to provide real-time, round-the-clock access to receipt logs, inventory, tracking, and orders processed. Companies can give different users varying levels of access to the information. Other features include online credit card authorization and automatic batch processing for high order volumes from call centers and electronic interchange.