March 28th, 2017
Cross device tracking challenges for retailers
14 Mar 2017 Dominic
With the rise of mobile traffic to websites, small businesses have also seen a shift in how they invest in site development to accommodate the increase in mobile traffic – and in addition have had to dig deep into their anayltics to fully understand how the traffic is behaving across devices.
One of the main frustrations I have experienced is trying to inform the buying / trading team that conversion drops across a website does not necessarily mean a problem with the website but requires a fuller deep dive and understanding of many elements of trading a retail website – rather than looking for “the plug which someone has pulled out” as it was referred to me recently!
An example of how shifts in mobile traffic can lead to confusing metrics is when you may see conversion going down as you drive more traffic to the site. What looks like an extra 30% YOY increase in traffic to your website could actually be an extra 30% increase in THE SAME traffic who are buying on desktop but just happen to browsing on their mobile on the train home from work.
A new report from a company I have worked with previously (Criteo) has reviewed cross-device measurement and released the study suggesting that consumers convert more often than previously believed, and that marketers risk miscalculating key metrics and return on investments for one in three transactions when applying old attribution models – download the report here.
According to the report, conversions by device could be massively under-accounted for by as much as 40% with consumers using multiple devices in the buying journey, from searching and browsing to buying. In this instance, the real focus in any metrics should be on the consumer, not the devices. In an attribution model that focuses on devices rather than people, traditional analytics tools provide a partial and distorted view of a multi-device journey.
By focusing on the consumer, the attribution model analyzes a cross-device measurement approach that can accurately follow the buyer across devices and capture the behavior and the intent of the consumer rather than the devices. The report shows just how important it is for marketeers to fully understand the user behaviour and understand the full view of their customer’s journey via cross-device measurement.The analysis in the report, which outlines results from the second half of 2016, suggests that correctly applying cross-device measurement reveals a buyer’s journey can be 41% longer, for example.
While Criteo’s prior reports focused on mobile commerce, this one reminds advertisers — mainly retailers — of the need for a deeper understanding of cross-device consumer behavior and the importance of optimizing the user experience at every step in the consumer journey to purchase. It will increase the likelihood of conversions on any one of the devices being used.
Some 31% of all transactions involve two of more devices from the Web site to the point of purchase, according to the study. Now if you are deciding to invest in customer recruitment channels which are interacting across mobile, tablet and desktop, how will you know if your marketing is actually working if you cannot track customer actions across all device? What may look like a poor ROI on one device may actually be incorrect.
The research also shows that when applying cross-device measurement tactics, conversion rates rose up to 40% higher than when measured with a per-device view method, rather than user-focused method.
Interestingly, this attribution method confirms that shoppers now spend 7% more on smartphones vs desktop compared to last year.
The report also suggests 25% of all cross-device transactions completed on a desktop started on a smartphone, and 35% of all online purchases in the U.S. were completed on mobile, up 20% year-over-year. Order values on both smartphones and tablets rose. Smartphone spend increased 7% year-over-year. Mobile apps captured 55% of transactions, compared with 45% for mobile browsers.
Online marketeers are facing more and more challenges when trying to understand the traffic coming to their website and the behaviour of that traffic when it gets there. In addition to trying to understand cross device tracking, challenges on understanding how some channels influence others (assisted conversions) and how to understand how all the channels interact with each other (attribution) mean we need more quality insights such as this report.
Tags: cross device tracking