JCPenney, Zero-Result Analysis and Timeshare Marketing

Retailer JCPenney is staging a comeback after being declared destined for oblivion by many pundits. One part of the turnaround is their use of a specific type of website analysis.

While JCPenney’s numbers still aren’t particularly impressive in terms of sales, they are noteworthy because they indicate the storied department store, founded in 1902, is turning things around. One particular item of interest is the company’s foray back into appliance sales – which is the direct result of what’s called failed-search or zero-result analysis.

Zero-Result Analysis Explained

So what is a zero-result analysis? Simply put, it’s taking a look at what visitors to your site are searching for – and not finding. For JCPenney, it brought to light that many customers still associated the major retailer with selling appliances. According to an article on, “The company asked customers what products they were looking for on that they couldn’t find. Appliances was at the top.”

The good news is that you don’t need to survey your web visitors to see your results. Your website easily can be set up to track what visitors are looking for and not finding. In fact, you can break out what site-registered owners are seeking versus casual browsers. You could even track the queries of owners at specific resorts. As long as the visitor is logged in, you can identify who they are and what they’re searching for. And for broader-based results, you can track zero-result searches in Google Analytics.

How Does this Benefit Me?

Imagine you find a significant trend of people looking for a particular destination … or searching specific terms such as Owners Guide, customer service or loyalty program. Zero-result analysis can help you get a better read on what your owners and potential owners want and what terms they’re already comfortable using.

The bottom line is that a company should never be so entrenched that it can’t take a hard look at how it does business – and whether it’s missing something important. JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison acknowledges his organization went down the wrong path and is now trying to fix it.

“We’re trying something different,” Ellison points out in the CNN piece. “We’re actually listening to the customers.”

What are your customers — whether they are members/owners or potential purchasers — looking for on your timeshare-related website? There may be great value in learning what they’re not finding.

Contact Seychelle Media to talk about how your website is performing. Request a quote for more details.

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