By default Nosto tracks attribution by positioning a default
?nosto-parameter to links, which Nosto populates on the site, in practice to all Nosto features and products. This also makes it easy to track and monitor Nosto in an external analytics, while acting and working as the default mechanism for Nosto analytics.
Learn more about Nosto's attribution models here.
Parameterless Attribution and Tracking
As an option for scenarios where parameters can’t or should not be used for tracking, parameterless tracking is supported. The optional mode can be enabled under Settings > Account Settings > Parameterless Tracking. Once active, as in the screenshot below, Nosto drops parameters from links.
Another mechanism for tracking is by using Nosto’s front-end API, which is intended for Single Page Applications, Progressive Web Apps and similar modern technologies used for website builds. In case tracking is done with front-end API, parameterless tracking is not a relevant option.
Interactions outside of website context such as Nosto’s Email Widgets and Triggered Emails still make use of parameters for tracking, despite opting for the parameterless option.
How Parameterless Tracking Works
Instead of rendering campaigns with decorated links, parameterless tracking leaves the urls in their original form and associates attribution information with the DOM element of the Nosto campaign and adds the click and contextmenu (as a proxy for open in new tab/window) handler. Upon click or contextmenu. the attribution for the clicked link is saved in browsers' localStorage together with a timestamp and the current url. Upon loading a new page the attribution matching the newly opened url is read from localStorage, verified against the referrer, and checked that a small amount of time has passed since interacting with the link. If all conditions hold, the attribution information is considered valid and is used exactly as it is used in case with parameters.
The core principle of parameterless attribution is to associate attribution information with a link for a brief period of time between opening the link and page loading.
Due to the way how Nosto features are implemented there might be some rare scenarios when interaction attributed by link with parameters is not attributed with parameterless approach, e.g.
Shopper opens an attributed page and then reloads it → Parameters both loading and reloading are attributed
Shopper copies a link, waits some non-trivial amount of time, then navigates to the copied link AND
Shopper has some restrictions on using local storage in their browser
There is also a hypothetical scenario when parameterless attribution would attribute more
If user right-clicks on the link in the Nosto campaign and then clicks on exactly the same link outside the Nosto campaign it might still be attributed
However, we consider that the changes and scenarios are not significant enough to matter much for web-analytics.