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Attribution, or how to understand data about one’s customers. What do touchpoints say about conversions?

To order to decide to purchase a product, a user most often performs more than one interaction in an online store. Attribution is a significant element that can contribute to an increase in online store conversions. Sometimes attribution models are not analysed by marketers, which is a big mistake that can affect campaign results.

What is marketing attribution?

Currently, e-commerce conversion doesn’t apply to a process based on just one interaction. Multi-channel paths are nothing new, while internet marketing consists of many intertwining channels. Attribution is a set of rules that determine how conversions are assigned to touchpoints on conversion paths. In other words, this is a breakdown of value between particular marketing channels. The ideal attribution model equally distributes values from different marketing channels, determining the impact of each interaction. Marketing attribution is a broad concept – the model includes both social media, paid search sources, as well as email, push notifications, and remarketing.

For example, a user goes to a website through Facebook, then clicks on a search engine ad (Google Ads), returns to the online store through remarketing, and eventually makes a purchase by entering the website address directly in the browser. In this case, all interactions in the multi-touch attribution model that affect the conversion need to be considered.

Read more: What benefits do online marketing activities bring?

Attribution models

Google Analytics is the most popular attribution modelling tool that offers several models:

First interaction – Google’s algorithm assigns 100% conversions to the first interaction with an online store. In this case, we don’t really know which touchpoints influenced the user’s decision to make a purchase.

Last interaction – This is the last non-direct click model where the total conversion share is attributed to the last channel. The conversion impact of other earlier channels is not taken into consideration. The length of the shopping path is ignored – no matter what actions have been undertaken before no value will be assigned to them.

Linear model – In this case, each channel is assigned an equal value on the purchase path. For example, if a lead went through 2 touchpoints before completing the transaction, each channel will be assigned a 50% conversion.

Time distribution model – In this model, the largest share of conversions is assigned to the source that was closest to the user’s conversion.

Position consideration – the model assumes that the largest share is assigned to the first and last interaction, 40% each, while the remaining 20% is distributed evenly across other sources.

There is no single, right model, because its choice depends on the purpose and size of the campaign. The best practice is to test different types of attribution and analyse the collected results. Push marketing involves choosing the right tools and channels of communication – regardless of the strategy chosen, it is worth considering when different attribution models might be helpful. In addition to conversions, it is a good idea to include in one’s marketing activities the customer lifetime value (CLV), which is one of the best determinants of online store’s condition.

Read more: User segmentation or how to match a recipient to your business?

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