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Conversion Attribution And Definition
Conversion Attribution And Definition

Everything you need to know about Sales Through Nosto, how and why Nosto processes sales conversions and reports these in the analytics.

Lari Lehtonen avatar
Written by Lari Lehtonen
Updated over a week ago

Global Definitions

Global definitions chapter includes details about what is universal across the Nosto platform regardless of the product.

Definition of a Conversion, Session Length and Conversion Window

Conversion in Nosto means sales conversion or, in other words, a purchase by a shopper. Nosto tracks and reports conversions in analytics per session while the session length is 30 minutes. In practice, this means that after 30 minutes of inactivity by a shopper online the session expires.

Conversion reporting is therefore based on one session, while the conversion window is based on a single session and not across multiple sessions or a longer time period such as a week or month. For cancelled orders and returns see chapter below. Exceptions to the same session and 30-minute rule are Email Widgets and Triggered Emails, where the conversion window is 24 hours, Pop-Ups, where it depends on having a campaign open vs closing it. Please see product chapters below for more details.

  • Example 1: Shopper has interacted with Nosto products during the session, when they make a purchase: Sales is attributed to the associated Nosto product or products.

  • Example 2: Shopper has interacted with Nosto during the first session, but make a purchase during the second session, when they don’t interact with any Nosto product: Sales is not attributed to Nosto or its products (i.e. Sales through Nosto does not apply), but shown in overall sales analytics.

  • Example 3: Shopper clicks an Email Widget or Triggered Email at 1pm on 1st of January, but does not buy during the session. Shopper returns on 2nd of January 11am and buys during that session. Sales is attributed to the Nosto Widget as it occurred within the 24h time window after the first session.

Different analytics and services can process and report conversions differently and use different conversion metrics and time windows, hence when comparing Nosto’s analytics to other services, note these differences and use the same time parameters and definitions.

Returns, Order Cancellation and Payment Methods

Nosto’s core value is to increase the probability and eventually the number of conversions along with other metrics such as average order value and customer lifetime value through personalization. If something happens in the order fulfilment phase, after an order has been made in a digital touchpoint, details are not processed by Nosto.

For instance, Nosto does not take into account or have visibility over returned items or customers not picking up their orders (no-shows) or if a customer doesn’t pay an order made in a digital touchpoint, in case flexible payment methods such as cash-on-delivery are offered.

As an exception, if an order is automatically cancelled within 30 minutes after the customer completes their purchase, for instance when the e-commerce platform detects a fraud, credit permit is not processed, consequently automatically canceling an order, Nosto’s analytics will also ignore the order. As these are relatively common scenarios, the 30 minute grace period prevents most of skewed analytics. In case noticeable erroneous or malicious orders occasionally skew analytics, please contact Nosto's support.

Sales Tax And Value Added Tax (VAT) And Discounts

Attribution value of a product (or an order) is the full gross revenue received by the store for the purchase. Discounts given by the store for the order and shopper are included and deducted from the order value. Shipping costs are not taken into account when calculating order value.

Taxes may be included when calculating order value, depending on the platform:

  • Shopify: Not included

  • BigCommerce: Included

  • Magento: Depends on configuration

  • Prestashop: Not included

  • Shopware: Depends on configuration

Importance of Order Tracking For Nosto Products

Conversion and order tracking is not only important for analytics, but also for Nosto’s core system to perform at the full capacity. For instance products bought together are commonly linked closely, whereas the first and the last product viewed during the session probably have less in common. These data points and signals are both important to track, yet without reporting conversions and products ordered, Nosto’s platform will not function and perform at the full capacity, hence tracking and reporting orders also affects the value Nosto can deliver through personalization. In addition, some features such as weighting and reranking of products based on conversion data and metrics in Category Merchandising product will not function properly.

Reporting Conversions

Conversions are reported to Nosto in the integration by leveraging the Nosto API or by generating the conversion event HTML tagging on the page where a successful order is reported to the shopper e.g. thank you for order pages. E-commerce platform extensions built by Nosto include the order reporting automatically by leveraging mentioned endpoints.

  • Example 1: The store is on a platform and has Nosto extension/plug-in/module installed: Conversion reporting is automatically in place. In rare cases, if conversions are not processed accordingly after the installation, consult Nosto’s support for a review by sharing information how your check-out process is built.

  • Example 2: The store uses proprietary software: Refer to the documentation and consult your developer as well as Nosto support how to report orders accordingly. In general, you have the choice between HTML Tagging or Session API for a client-side integration.

Product Specific Conversions And Metrics

Each product incorporates its own analytics and slightly different method and measurement for conversions due to their difference.

Multi-Product Conversion

In the event that multiple Nosto products are associated with a conversion, overall sales analytics shows this as individual sales through Nosto, but product specific analytics and metrics show the sales attributed to the product and campaign.

  • A far-fetched example: A shopper clicks an Email Widget and lands on the site where a split-test is active by falling into a test group A, proceeds by clicking a banner populated by Onsite Content Campaign and clicks a Onsite Recommendations by ending up buying the product clicked, worth of $100 during the same session.

  • In the previous example, overall sales through Nosto attributes the sales as $100, but each Nosto product associated is attributed with $100 respectively: the Email Widget campaign, the Onsite Content Campaign, and the last Onsite Recommendation campaign the user clicked before checking out.

Sales through Onsite Recommendations are processed when a shopper discovers a product through a Nosto generated recommendation and when they click it (by technically loading a product detail page or similar page layout), consequently adding the product to a shopping cart and buying it. If the same product is discovered in the same manner through multiple recommendations, sales is attributed to both or each.

Referring to the global 30-minute session rule, if the same shopper returns for example the next day and buys the same product, initially discovered through a Nosto generated recommendation, but by finding it through the site's regular navigation or other site’s native elements, it is not considered as a Nosto sale anymore.

As a rule of thumb, only items recommended by Nosto, added to the cart, after viewing, and consequently bought through a recommendation are accounted for as a sale through recommendations. For example, if a customer buys three products during the same session and only one through a recommendation, only the recommended and bought item is considered as a sale through Onsite Recommendations.

Sales through Search is attributed when a shopper discovers a product via the interaction with Nosto Search (Search result pages, Autocomplete), subsequently puts it into the cart and buys the specific product.

The sales attribution window is the same as for Onsite Product Recommendations - the global 30-minute session rule is used. If a user initially discovered a product via Search but buys the same product the next day by finding it through Product Recommendations, it is not considered as a "Sales through Search" anymore.

Category Merchandising assesses sales when a category listing uses sequence (sorting, highlighting or both), and when a shopper clicks a product and discovers one or more through the listing. In other words, when Nosto has manipulated the ranking and order of products, clicks and consequent sales during the same session are attributed to Category Merchandising. Sales attribution window is the same as for Onsite Recommendations: The same session, technically using session lifetime of 30 minutes.

If a shopper clicks an Email Widget populated in an email by returning shopping, all purchases made during the same session and 24 hours thereafter are treated as a Nosto sale regardless of how products were discovered.

Nosto doesn’t take a sales attribution if a recipient of an email clicks any other element in the same email where an Email Widget is present. In other words, only sales directly associated with a customer clicking a widget by Nosto are treated as a Nosto sale.

Similarly, but slightly different to Email Widgets, if a shopper returns shopping through an email sent by Nosto, all items bought during the session and 24 hours afterwards are accounted for as a sale through Nosto. Unlike with Widgets, all traffic generated by Triggered Emails, regardless where the shopper clicks in the email, are associated as a Nosto sale as the Triggered Email was dispatched by Nosto.

Onsite Content Personalization (OCP) as a product can include and populate website elements which don’t necessarily include a link or, in other words, website elements which can't be clicked. Therefore, attribution based on clicks is not always applicable. Common examples of non-clickable content are informative banners, ribbons, or urgency notifications.

By default, OCP analytics shows attribution by impressions (post-views), which can be changed to clicks in the UI (post-clicks). Post-view shows analytics based on behaviour, after a shopper was subjected to an experience on the page. Post-click takes into account only behaviour after clicking a campaign populated on the page.
Sales attribution window is the same as for Onsite Recommendations and Category Merchandising: active session and lifetime of 30 minutes.

Metrics and attribution for UGC campaigns are similar to Onsite Content Personalization, but with a slight difference.

By default UGC analytics shows attribution by impressions (post-views), which can be changed to clicks (post-clicks). Post-view shows analytics based on behaviour after a shopper was subjected to an experience on the page. Post-clicks takes into account only behaviour after a shopper has interacted with the campaign by expanding the UGC tile and clicked the optional call-to-action button in the expanded tile, which by default refers to the product page, if a content features a shop spot.

Please note that the attribution model used by the Google Analytics 4 Plugin for UGC is slightly different from the above. Please refer to this article to learn more.

If a customer retrieves a discount voucher through Nosto pop-up by triggering the call-to-action in the pop-up, all sales are attribute to the pop-up during the same session, regardless if a customer used the voucher or not. Alternatively, if a customer closes the pop-up window / dialogue / overlay without activating the call-to-action and retrieving the voucher, sales is not attributed to the pop-up campaign.

Segmentation & Insights processes sales based on sales conversion regardless of the discovery method and potential Nosto product used.

The only potential differentiator is within Products, Brands & Categories where conversions can be broken down based on sales - overall revenue generated, and orders - quantity of orders.

A/B Testing and Optimization (ABTO) product supports different test and optimization objectives such as optimizing a test towards click-through rate (CTR), but a conversion rate and converted visits refer to sales conversion: The share of visitors who converted and number of visitors converted.

A test can optimize itself towards improving click-through using that as an objective for the test, which then shows CTR as the main metric in the test result dashboard, but conversion as a term refers to a successful purchase.

In case a test is active on the website, shoppers are randomly assigned to test groups, where they remain for the period the test is active. Test result breakdown shows metrics regardless if the shopper interacted by clicking one or more Nosto campaigns subjected to the test e.g. impression of a campaign counts.

Pricing Summary

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