G�mez Multidimensional Online Experience Benchmark Debuts

For the first time, business and IT stakeholders can receive a holistic view of site functionality, usability and performance, providing historical and comparative metrics to prioritize improvements and boost ROI

Waltham, MA, May 27, 2003 — G�mez, Inc., the leading provider of Internet Channel Effectiveness solutions, today unveiled the Experience Benchmark, a comparative measurement of online customer experience that provides organizations with a holistic framework to gauge the efficacy of their Web offerings.

The Experience Benchmark delivers a multidimensional view of the key factors that shape online customer experience. By using this unique benchmark, business and IT stakeholders can utilize a common set of quantifiable metrics to understand how these dimensions contribute to the customer experience, ensure proper alignment with business objectives and continuously improve the effectiveness of the Internet channel.

At its core, the benchmark begins with an examination of key customer-oriented tasks. Quantifiable data related to functionality, usability and performance (average response time and success rate) that characterizes the task is collected and summarized in a clear, concise four-dimensional grid.

The benchmark helps organizations understand:

  • Whether their online presence offers a sufficient level of useful and needed functionality;
  • How much effort is required for a typical user to complete key online tasks;
  • If key pages load in a timely manner;
  • If the site is available when users most need it;
  • How all of these dimensions compare to the experience delivered by competitors.

“The G�mez Experience Benchmark framework enables organizations to more fully understand the customer experience they deliver and easily identify areas for improvement,” noted Matthew Poepsel, G�mez’s Director of Product Management. “Most importantly, we package this information in a competitive context that facilitates action, an exceptionally critical ingredient given the challenging business climate.”

The Experience Benchmark is grounded in proven G�mez methodologies, which have been used to benchmark thousands of Web sites during the last five years. Over 33% of the world’s top financial services firms and 10% of the Fortune 1000 rely on G�mez to benchmark the quality of online services they deliver.

“There is a growing need to understand the end-user experience of Web-based applications, going beyond simple aggregate performance,” said Glenn O’Donnell, program director at META Group. “Underlying application components, visual interfaces, structure and flow all contribute to the quality of experience (QoE). Navigating these details with the aid of systems based on the sophisticated heuristics, helps IT organizations fine tune their applications to maximize user satisfaction and their own competitive advantage.”

Functionality, Usability & Performance: A Unified, Actionable View

In assessing functionality, G�mez looks for site features that serve both users intentions and organizations’ business objectives. Such features must be intuitive and require minimal effort to enable site visitors to accomplish their goals — which directly impacts site effectiveness.

Combining consumer research with client collaboration, G�mez examines the aspects of site usability that matters most to accomplishing critical online tasks. G�mez also examines the efficiency with which each task is accomplished. This goes beyond counting task steps to include an estimate of the time required to read page text, fill out forms and take required actions.

G�mez analysts then take a hands-on approach, inspecting task flow, information architecture, information design, visual language, content and features to provide detailed usability recommendations, similar to what is provided with the firm’s Usability Benchmark.

Moreover, the business effectiveness of a highly functional and usable Web site can be severely undermined unless it performs reliably and meet users’ speed expectations. To put performance into context, G�mez quantifies the response time and success rate of key tasks performed online — both historically and compared with key competitors. G�mez has the world’s most extensive performance monitoring network that measures site performance from more than 10,000 locations — inside customer enterprises, as well as from major network data centers and actual user desktops. Unlike other companies, G�mez provides true end-to-end metrics across the Internet application delivery chain.

The holistic nature of the Experience Benchmark helps business and IT managers diagnose mutual contributions to a common goal — delivering a great online experience to customers. “We know that satisfied customers allow companies to generate additional revenues and reduce costs,” Poepsel noted. “Unfortunately, we still see too many companies, particularly global companies or those with a large percentage of dial-up users, that fail to deliver a positive experience, which makes online life difficult for their customers.”

Available immediately, the Experience Benchmark can help organizations get the Internet channel working more effectively. It can also be supplemented with related G�mez benchmarking services. As such, G�mez experts will work with clients to define:

  • Task priority — High value activities customers perform on the site
  • Competitors — Primary competitive or comparative offerings
  • Functionality criteria — Features and functionality that matter most
  • Delivery frequency — How often to perform the analysis

About G�mez

G�mez serves companies that strategically depend on the effectiveness of their Internet channel to increase revenues and decrease expenses and provides the industry’s only comprehensive set of integrated solutions that help firms maximize the performance, functionality, and usability of their Internet channel.

The G�mez Performance Network monitors page and transactional responsiveness, availability and success rates from a network of over 10,000 nodes located in every state in the U.S. as well as in 65 countries worldwide. Uniquely, G�mez provides real-time performance alerting and reporting covering the data center to the desktop, and profiles end-user connection rates, locations and ISP networks.

G�mez Scorecards bi-annually measure the quality of e-commerce offerings, with a predominant focus on the Internet channel and a secondary focus on auxiliary channels and measures. Scorecards rank all firms in an industry that meet minimum standards of service (typically in terms of depth and breadth of product and national availability), and provide a snapshot of how industry players compare and contrast across user profiles and usage categories.

G�mez’s primary investors include: Dolphin Equity Partners of New York; Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, the London-based venture capital fund of Doughty Hanson & Co; DB Capital Venture Partners, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Bank; and Harbinger/Aurora Funds of Research Triangle Park, NC.

G�mez, G�mez.com, G�mezPro, G�mez Scorecards, G�mez Performance Network and Internet Quality Measurement are trademarks and/or service marks of G�mez, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.