Tracking the effectiveness of advertising campaigns in an online store

    In this article, I would like to talk about methods for tracking the effectiveness of advertising campaigns conducted in online stores. And we are talking about advertising campaigns on the network (context, banners, e-mail newsletters, etc.).
    Let's say you create an advertising campaign in Yandex Direct. You put into the account 10,000 rubles. and expect an increase in the number of orders. But among other things, you also need to track the results. In this case, it is necessary to calculate exactly how many visitors who clicked on our website via an advertising link made an order.

    It would seem there is nothing easier. We solved this problem as follows: in the link to our site in the advertisement we added a special “signal”, i.e. some additional parameter, which is necessary in order to fix it on the site side and understand that the client came from this particular advertisement. Suppose we advertise a page with new kitchen tables, the address of the page We add something like this to the address and thus using the source parameter we can determine where the client came from. In this case, as an example, I assigned this parameter the value “direct”, hinting that our hypothetical client came with Yandex direct. In practice, of course, it is more advisable to indicate there a more informative text, for example,
    And everything seems to work well. The client went to the site using this link. The script caught the source parameter (if there is such a parameter), i.e. I found out where a man came to us from. I recorded this data in the session. And then if the person left the order, entered this data from the session into the order (say, in the database in the table of orders for the order created an additional field source), thereby linking the order to a specific advertising campaign. As a result, at the end of the advertising campaign, we can safely go into the database of orders and see if there are orders that have the identifier of a particular stock in the source (for example, our tabkes_8_mart). We calculated the number of these orders and realized how many of them this advertising campaign brought us.

    All this is pretty simple. But there is one problem: what about those customers who came to the site through an advertising link, didn’t buy anything, and then returned and place an order? The client can return by a direct link or by finding us through a search engine. Those. not the fact that when you visit the site again, the source parameter will be in the URL. But statistics say that buyers usually make a purchase not on the first visit to the site, but after some time, up to several days. Well, he needs to think, look at prices on other sites, compare, etc. Those. it takes time.

    What to do with such visitors? How to track them? Naturally, any web programmer will say that you need to use the cookie mechanism. If in a nutshell, then the client who came to the site via the advertising link should be noted, but not in the session, but in cookies and then, when he visits the site again, look at his cookies and, if they contain information about the source, record it in the order (if he placed an order). It seems to be nothing complicated here either. And this is exactly the moment we are trying to realize in our store. Those. before that, we recorded visitors only when they first visited the site using an advertising link. Now they decided to add work with cookies in order to record their repeated visits. But immediately faced with several controversial situations. I will describe them below:

    Situation One: The client came via an advertising link of the form = ..., placed an order and left the site. In this case, everything is simple. We fixed the order with reference to it source. This situation is just not controversial. Everything is clear here.

    Situation two: The client came via an advertising link of the form = ..., placed an order, left the site, then after a while returned to the site (for example, using a direct link without the source parameter) and issued again order. What to do in this case? Should the second order (and all subsequent ones) be recorded in the account of this advertising campaign? Those. to bind all his orders to the source source? After all, a situation is hypothetically possible: a client went to the site using an advertising link, bought a phone, then placed an order for another cover (i.e. for some reason he did not do it in one order, because either he did not figure out how to work with with a basket, or just a day later I realized that he still needed a cover, or, say, the phone was available, and the cover was in pre-order, so they could not be issued in one order, in short, there could be many situations). It turns out that he has two orders and in essence the merit of both of these orders - there is the most advertising link. But there may be another situation: a person came by an advertising link, placed the first order for a telephone (i.e., the first order was absolutely merit of the advertising campaign), and then, for example, a month later decided to buy a case. I remembered about our site, found it on the Internet, went in, bought it. And here is the question - should the second order be considered the merit of the advertising campaign by which he came to us for the first time or not? After all, if you talk like that, it turns out that then for life all customer orders are attributed to this very advertising campaign? Unlikely! To be honest, we have decided for ourselves how to correctly interpret this situation. We agree that it is necessary to determine a certain period. Let's say

    Situation Three : The client came via an advertising link of the form = ..., left the site without leaving orders, then returned by another link of the form =... (for example, the first time he came a link from a direct link, and a second time from a link from a newsletter) and placed an order. I believe that in this case we fix the issued order with reference to the second source, i.e. to an advertising campaign from the newsletter.

    Situation four: The client came via an advertising link of the form = ..., left the site without leaving orders, then returned after a “long”, for example, six months later. To perceive this client as a “returnee” precisely because of the very advertisement on which he came to us for the first time or as a new client. Or as a “returnee”, but in a general sense, without reference to the advertising campaign for which he came for the first time?
    So far, we have these four questions, these four situations. And at the moment it is they who do not allow us to write any algorithm. Actually, in the comments I would like to hear a couple of opinions on this matter. Can someone tell me some guidance on the proper organization of tracking such clients and advertising campaigns. To be honest, I haven’t managed to google anything on this topic yet. Therefore, you have to rely on your findings and reasoning. But I'm afraid that they may be wrong and that in fact there are much more controversial situations than I described.

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