Visit history for latent transactions in Google Analytics

I have been wondering about latent sales for quite some time, and how giving credit to only the last referrer leading up to a transaction could hide valuable information. While many visitors will convert during the first visit there are many visitors that take much longer to convert, interacting with your site across many visits and days. If you only give credit to the last referrer you may oversee some earlier referrers that may have at least assisted in the sales cycle.

We have updated our Analytics Fox extension to allow Monitus Tools users to view the referrer information of the visits leading up to a transaction right inside the Google Analytics e-commerce transaction report. We are also launching a Transaction Assist email report that will give merchants this information on a daily basis.

Here is an actual example.

  1. The is the Ecommerce > Product Performance > Product Overview report for a particular product, segmented by keyword. The Google search "Samsonite…" (full keyword hidden for privacy) got the credit for the sale.

  2. The corresponding transaction can be seen in the transactions report.

  3. The extension displays the number of visits (6) and a blue icon next to the transaction number. When you hover over the icon the visit history is displayed.

This yields real insight. Not only was this visitor initially referred from another site, but the visitor also went to a comparison shopping engine before making a number of different Google searches. The last visit corresponds to the keyword that gets the credit in GA.

This example also highlights the apparent disconnect between different tracking systems. You can be sure that the shopping comparison engine will show a sale in its own reporting tool.

Hours of endless fun! At least for me…