María Morales

María Morales

Data Analytics Consultant
Related topics: Analytics Attribution Data

Handling attribution issues

6 March 2023
3 min

Currently, a major issue faced in e-commerce is correctly measuring and attributing the conversions of our digital assets. Who or what channel has made our users decide to buy our product? How can we assign or attribute that sale and to which channel?

Today we bring you some solutions to the attribution problem. But for this, we must first ask ourselves what factors are causing this problem. Let’s dive in!

Cookies and AdBlockers

Cookies are currently in the spotlight because many browsers are stacked against them. Safari, for example, blocks third-party cookies and limits first-party cookies. Other platforms, such as Google Chrome, also are fighting to eliminate them. Added to this are the adblockers that are installed by default on many of our computers. These can limit any script that we insert into a page.

How can we solve this problem?

Although certain digital analytics tools work without cookies, they provide us with very limited information. For this reason, we recommend working with the usual measurement tools such as Adobe or Google Analytics 4.

If you are using Google Analytics 4, we suggest integrating it with Google Consent Mode. This solution will allow us to work without cookies. In other words, if a user does not accept cookies, Google Analytics will continue to receive pings without the user’s personal information. However, it can still model this data to identify users and sessions. In this way, we can continue measuring even those users who did not accept cookies.

Another way to overcome the limitations associated with adblockers is to think about solutions such as server-side tagging, for example, Google Tag Manager server containers. They will prevent the blocking of the scripts or hits that we send since they will be sent to our own domain.

Transaction transfer

On many occasions we’ve seen that the transactions (or purchases) made are not being sent. With tools like Google Analytics, we must insert a tracking code on the thank you page. However, in some scenarios, these transactions are not reported.

The reasons are diverse. Many times the user is redirected to a point-of-sale (POS) to make the payment, thus leaving our website. The problem is that many times the POS never returns the user to the thank you page or the user directly closes the browser before reaching it. As a consequence, the transaction is never reported and Google Analytics does not show it in its reports.

How can we solve this problem?

Our recommendation would be to send the transactions from server to server. To do this, Google Analytics 4 offers us the measurement protocol, through which we can send the transaction directly from our e-commerce platform. In this way, even if the user does not reach the thank you page, at the time they report to the e-commerce platform, we can automatically send it to Google Analytics 4 and view it in our reports.

Attribution models

The third problem we commonly encounter is related to the attribution models we use. We typically work with a last-click attribution model that attributes all credit for the conversion to the last channel the user interacts with. This model prevents us from being able to attribute said conversion to the channels that presented the brand to the user or that participated in the different steps of the conversion funnel.

How can we solve this problem?

In order to go one step beyond last click, we suggest a data-driven attribution model. This model is already available in Google Analytics 4, although previously we also found it in the Universal Analytics 360 version.

With this model, we can analyze and understand the collaborative nature of our channels. That is, it allows us to assign part of the credit for the conversion to all the channels that had a relevant participation in said conversion.

We also suggest using your own attribution model, for example with BigQuery. With it, we can create our own attribution model in order to add the value of the contribution to final conversions.

After having analyzed the different factors that cause attribution issues and its different solutions, we can say that by following these tips you will improve the way you measure and attribute your conversions while always respecting current regulations. Do you need help with the implementation? Our team of experts can help you. Do not hesitate to contact us!

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