attribution_blog_imageAttending speaking sessions at eTail West one starts to realize that not all online retailers are as sophisticated as the rest.  In the session I attended yesterday, the talk was all about attribution.  While most retailers can talk knowledgeably about the buyers journey or the “path to purchase”, not all have the same level of sophistication when it comes to tracking customers along that path.

As a go forward plan, start with attribution strategies when online revenues are small.  That way, attribution strategies can grow with you.  So how to start?  According to the experts at eTail, start by defining your commerce channels first and follow with channel-specific metrics that track attribution by channel.  If you make it this far, the next opportunity is to identify the top three steps your customers take on their path to purchase.  Of course, you measure what happens at each of these steps to provide insight into where your process engages or loses the shopper.  If you don’t know where your customers are bouncing, how can you develop strategies to effectively increase customer engagement?

The final step to building an attribution strategy is to test how well your initial tactics work, and follow this up by adjusting your strategies.  Not sure which strategy works best?  You must constantly A/B test and innovate while all the time measuring to track customer engagement, shopper conversion and the cost of conversion.

With this level of close scrutiny, is not a surprise that ecommerce attribution and analytics is forcing traditional channels to also become more data oriented.  This requires staff, expertise and systems that not all retailers can support, so no doubt – only the strong can attribute.