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Analytics for Where to Buy
Analytics for Where to Buy
Bryan Nye avatar
Written by Bryan Nye
Updated over a week ago

The material contained in this document and any material or information disclosed during discussions of the contents represents the proprietary, confidential information pertaining to our services, methodologies and strategy. Disclosure of this information to any third party is strictly prohibited.

Analytics Overview

MetaLocator tracks all visitor activity within interface.  Every page load, click, search, selection and action is stored in our internal analytics platform.  We track the same types of user activity commonly available in modern analytics such as:

  • Visits and page loads

  • Referrers, search engines and keywords

  • Devices, screen sizes

  • User location and much more.

There are also many events that are specific to the map-based locator.  These may be less commonly available in standard analytics reporting packages.  They include:

  • Local search actions and their value

  • Category selections

  • Lead generation events

  • Clicks on phone numbers

  • Clicks to location detail pages

MetaLocator also allows segmentation of all analytics.  Default segments are generated by Interface ID and Location ID.  However, custom segments can be generated by the helpdesk to meet custom reporting needs.

MetaLocator also supports Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics.  This allows for deep customization of the analytics data and publishing to external analytics platforms.

Actions considered to be Conversions in our solution are reported to the system dashboard as shown below:

Those actions can vary by customer configuration, but commonly include searches, leads, clicks to directions, clicks to call and more.

Where to Buy Analytics

When leveraging MetaLocator's Product Finder solution, tracking becomes even more essential.  Aside from tracking locations, tracking products and sales is critical.  MetaLocator reports product views and clicks by GroupID, SKU and Retailer in addition to commonly available segments like date, referrer, campaign and so forth.

Product Revenue, Sale Price and Conversion rate are reported by Product SKU, Product Category and more:

eCommerce Reporting includes an overview to show overall performance over time:

Best products and product categories:

Sales by Country, Region and city:

MetaLocator includes a full-featured eCommerce reporting dashboard that leverages includes all commonly required eCommerce analytics.  The Dashboards can be highly customized to include custom reports, variables, segments and other modifications to fit your reporting requirements.

Confirmed Conversions

Once a user clicks a retailer offer in a Where to Buy interface, they leave your Website.  Fundamental technical and security limitations common to all Internet browsers and the Internet itself prevent direct monitoring of an Internet user once they have left your Web site.  Cooperation with retail partners is required at this point to capture user behavior.  The most common method of retailer cooperation is an affiliate program.  Affiliate programs are typically used to generate revenue for Websites which feature retailer products in the context of supporting content.

Affiliate programs vary from retailer to retailer; however, they commonly include a method of encoding a link to the retailer Website so that the retailer can generate a report to the affiliate that includes the number and type of sales they have generated by referring traffic to the retailer.

When purchase offers are displayed through the Where to Buy Interface with a retail partner that offers an affiliate program, MetaLocator presents the link using the retailer-provided affiliate tracking code as shown below:

As orders are completed on the retailer Website, data is collected in each retailer affiliate program.  MetaLocator pulls this data from each affiliate program regularly to backfill confirmed conversions in our Analytics dashboard.  This data is imported as an analytics segment.  This method allows the revenue data to be filtered to show only those conversions that can be attributed to confirmed conversions.  This reveals a true conversion rate for each retailer with an affiliate program.  The required data to properly backfill sales into analytics are:

  • Product Key - This may be a retailer-specific key, UPC, manufacturer SKU or other key.

  • Time Stamp - The date and time of the order

  • Affiliate Code - The tracking code of the affiliate program

MetaLocator can use the following to increase reporting accuracy:

  • URL - The URL of the product detail page from which the sale was generated.

  • Referral link - The referral link from which the sale was generated.  This should be the link the user clicked on from the Where to Buy tool.  We insert a token into the outbound link that can be used to link the click with a specific session.  If the retailer affiliate program provides this full URL, we can connect it with a specific user session in our internal analytics.

  • Order quantity - The number of products purchased

  • Order amount - The total sale amount.  This may include amounts from other products purchased from the retailer.  For example, if the user clicks on a printer from the Where to Buy tool and also purchases an unrelated ream of paper from the retailer.

  • Commission - Any commission generated to the manufacturer by the retailer.

  • Source IP - The visitor's IP address at time of purchase

The analytics system tracks all clicks from the Where to Buy tool to a retailer product detail page as an eCommerce order.  These clicks appear as revenue in the eCommerce reports though they may not represent actual purchases.  This ensures that retailers with and without affiliate programs are reported on equal footing.  Viewing the eCommerce reports segmented by confirmed conversions allows viewing of the same data, filtered by only confirmed conversions.  This allows for understanding of the actual conversion rate by retailer while not showing zero revenue from those retailers without confirmed conversion support.

Confirmed Conversion Alternatives

Product purchase data available through sources other that affiliate programs can fill in gaps where affiliate programs do not exist.  Clients may choose to contact retailers directly to establish a private reporting relationship.  This strategy involves requesting the required sales data (described above) directly from the retailer.  Retailers can be motivated to provide this data in exchange for inclusion on a Where to Buy tool.  These tools generate highly motivated traffic; therefore, retailers are often incentivized to provide this data in exchange.  Retailers may request a certain referral code, such as a &utm_source which can be configured in the retailer profile under the Affiliate Link Append.

The material contained in this document and any material or information disclosed during discussions of this subject represents the proprietary, confidential information pertaining to our services, methodologies and strategy. Disclosure of this information to any third party is strictly prohibited.

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