We recently showed you how attribution based on clickstream data (aka clickstream attribution) can provide you with practical, actionable insights. Today, we’re going to show you one of the biggest advantages of clickstream attribution, which is the ability to credit online marketing campaigns to off-site sales.

Clickstream attribution shows a bigger picture

When it comes to attribution, many marketers study the influence of their online marketing campaigns on conversions and sales for their own web properties. This has become relatively easy because leading web analytics providers offer integrated attribution modeling.

However, attribution based on web analytics is often incomplete because it rarely accounts for the conversions and sales taking place off-site, away from a marketer’s own web properties. For instance, sales that happen on Amazon and eBay are notably difficult to include in attribution based on web analytics.

In contrast, clickstream attribution accounts for all online sales and conversions, whether they occur on your site or anywhere else. With clickstream attribution, sales and conversions that take place on e-commerce marketplaces or reseller sites are part of the overall attribution analysis.

Who should use clickstream attribution?

If you’re actively promoting products or services online that are not exclusively attainable through your own e-commerce site, you should strongly consider adding clickstream attribution to your arsenal of insights.

Here are some examples of companies that could benefit from clickstream attribution:

1. Consumer packaged goods companies (CPG), such as toothpaste or coffee brands, who sell their products on e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, or general merchandise sites like Walmart.

2. Fashion brands, such as Adidas or Nike, who distribute their products on various e-commerce platforms, including Zappos, Foot Locker, and DSW, as well as online marketplaces including Amazon and Ebay.

3. Electronics brands, such as tablet makers, who sell their products on sites including Micro Center, Fry’s, and Best Buy, as well as Amazon.

4. Travel brands, such as direct hotels chains, who generate a lot of bookings on travel aggregators like Booking.com, Expedia, and Priceline.com

What can you learn from clickstream attribution?

With clickstream attribution, you can understand the full impact of your marketing efforts on online transactions, both onsite and offsite. 

1. Determine the most effective marketing activities for driving sales and conversions wherever they happen online

2. Compare onsite conversions to off-site conversions and analyze lift rates

3. Generate attribution insights across devices by merging anonymized clickstream datasets 

4. Use lookback windows going back much further than attribution based on web analytics typically allows

5. Analyze clickstream data through the lens of your preferred attribution model, or test several models to see which one works the best for you

6. Study individual marketing initiatives in-depth by examining what people do, on and off your site, after engaging with each campaign

How does clickstream attribution work?

Data science makes clickstream attribution possible. The most simple way that Jumpshot does this is by matching tracking codes from a brand’s ad campaigns with the anonymous clickstreams of our 100-million global consumer panel. The more advanced option is done by matching a company’s CRM or data management files to Jumsphot’s panel, while ensuring the privacy and anonymity of users via a panel matching solution.

Once the tracking codes or unique identifiers are matched, our panel is filtered down to just the consumers that are on a journey with your company, going all the way back to early 2014. Next, the entire clickstreams of the relevant subset of panelists is analyzed for conversion signals from your site, plus all the third-party sites that drive conversions for you. Then, attribution models are used to analyze the audience that you’re reaching with online marketing and the impact of your campaigns on conversions and sales. At this step, you can use any lookback window and any attribution model.

Not many companies can do clickstream attribution because each of these steps is challenging. You’ve got to have the clickstream data and you’ve got to know how to apply it to the task of attribution.

Bottom Line: Off-site sales and conversions need to be included in your attribution insights. If they aren’t, your digital marketing campaigns might not get the credit they deserve. Jumpshot makes clickstream attribution easy. It’s part of our Campaign Effectiveness solution, which analyzes the largest consumer panel in the industry to provide transaction information for attribution insights.