Qubit revamps analytics platform for ecommerce sites

The British site analytics firm Qubit has released version 2 of its platform, which aims to give ecommerce proprietors a simpler unified interface for seeing and acting upon what visitors to their sites do.

Qubit was started a few years ago by a group of ex-Googlers(s goog), who are now taking on their former employer’s Analytics product as well as other rivals such as Chartbeat, Adobe(s adbe) Omniture and Mixpanel. Qubit draws in more than 100 data points for each site visit, which it combines with factors such as geography to create a behavior model – first-time visitors tend to do this, second-time visitors tend to do that, and so on.

The new version of the platform gives marketers a more fully integrated workflow, as Qubit CEO Graham Cooke explained to me:

“We can do an analysis, understand who the users are and look at the journeys they’ve taken. So, for example, [certain users] always have these issues when putting things in their basket; they don’t know if they spend another £10 [$15.30] they will get free delivery. So you can choose that segment from the analytics platform and choose to target that segment with a message, which [we] put straight into the website without needing to rewrite the website. You just need a single line of code on the site.”

Cooke said Qubit had invested heavily in in-memory processing to deal with the resulting tens of billions of data points, as technologies such as Hadoop and MapR “mean it takes five minutes to get the result back”. (It should be noted that rivals such as Chartbeat and Mixpanel are also working with in-memory technologies.)

“We have a mix of open-source technologies that we put together with our own query language, built around our own in-memory clusters to do that,” Cooke said. “Hadoop is part of our framework but not part of this solution. This is about making big data friendly and being able to build a hypothesis and write that change into your site targeting a specific user group.”

Qubit already has an impressive roster of customers, including the BBC, the Financial Times, Expedia and British retail chains such as Staples and Topshop. According to Cooke, the company’s technology leads to around a 25 percent uplift in revenue.

Internet Explorer users are valuable

To mark the launch of Qubit v2, the company has also released some in-house research about the relative “value” of users of different browsers – one of the many variables that the platform takes into account. The research took in data from around 100 million sessions across 90 different retail sites between December and January.

Interestingly, the research shows Internet Explorer(s msft) (IE) customers to be the most “valuable” customers because they are the easiest to tempt into a sale, with a 3.14 percent conversion rate and an average basket total of £76.87. Safari(s aapl) users have a much higher average basket total of £108.44, but are harder to sell to, with a conversion rate of 1.64 percent.

Firefox users actually have the highest average basket total, at £110.99, and have a 2.18 percent conversion rate, while Chrome users average £90.36 percent for basket total and are only slightly easier to sell to than Safari users, with a 1.84 percent conversion rate. In terms of average customer value, then – balancing basket value with conversion rate – the results in descending order look like this: IE (£2.42), Firefox (£2.41), Safari (£1.78) and Chrome (£1.66).

Here’s a video promoting Qubit v2:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WspJ16Ubhw&w=560&h=315]