The Importance of Assisted and Unassisted Conversions in Ecommerce

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A shooting guard is far from the only valuable player on a basketball team, right?

Knowing this, if you only judged a player’s worth based on points scored, you’d have a skewed point of view. Yes, scoring points is important; it determines whether you win or lose. But a lot happens before the ball goes through the hoop, and it’s important to pay attention to those contributions.

In ecommerce terms, conversions are major scores for your online store. But what led up to those sales? Let’s talk about the importance of assisted and unassisted conversions in ecommerce, and how to differentiate the two.

Unassisted Conversions

When you think of the most cut-and-dried conversion, you see a customer enter your store, add items to their cart and check out. It’s easy to attribute this sale to its source, whether the shopper entered organically from a search engine result or clicked on a paid ad. Whichever channel the customer used will receive the unassisted conversion credit because it prompted the sale. Google defines these unassisted conversions as “the number of conversions for which there was only one interaction that led to the conversion, and no other impressions or clicks assisted in the conversion.”

In an ideal world, tracking all sales would be this easy and straightforward. But in the world of ecommerce, tracking conversions to fine-tune your marketing effort is rarely that simple. We need another way to track the effectiveness of certain channels.

In addition to tracking regular transactions and sales coming through your site, it’s also important to consider how content marketing and product reviews can also increase sales to your site. If you aren’t familiar with this process or currently using it within your own ecommerce marketing efforts, be sure to read through these ecommerce content writing tips. As we all know, Google loves to index content that provides real value to audiences and online customers. Add a blog to your ecommerce site is a great way to improve conversions, attract new audiences and rank content on your site that might not index as well without it.

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Assisted Conversions

In a more realistic example, let’s say you run an online book company and want to analyze the effectiveness of various marketing channels so you can decide exactly how to sell ebooks online. While at first glance, one channel may look less successful at generating conversions than another, a closer look may reveal it plays an important assisting role in netting conversions.

Let’s say a shopper sees a Facebook post about a sale on bestsellers and enters your ebook site to check it out. After spending a few minutes looking over your literary offerings, they exit because they’re at work and don’t want to buy anything on the clock.

When they get home, an email in their inbox reminds them your sale is still going on. They click the link to enter your site and look around some more, but don’t purchase. Then, the next day, after asking for a friend’s opinion, they go directly to your site and purchase a book.

While the final conversion counts as “direct,” it would be unfair to write Facebook or email off as unprofitable; after all, they hooked the shopper in the first place and got them to your website. With modern today’s shopping habits, transactions often involve multiple steps like this. Potential customers often leave to compare prices and products around the internet or wait until later to make a purchase.

Tracking Assisted Conversions Key to Determining ROI

Assisted conversions, in other words, are all non-last interactions on the path to a conversion. And your company can track the Assisted Conversion Value in Google Analytics to add up how much value these various channels are adding to your revenue, even if they’re not the final step for shoppers.

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As Vertical Rail points out, while these numbers are not set in stone as accurate sales figures, they can help your team gauge how significant each assisting channel is so you know what to focus on for your promotions. Determining whether a channel is an assist channel or not will help you define useful KPIs for that particular channel so you can get an accurate feel for how it’s performing.

Recognizing the importance of both assisted and unassisted conversions in ecommerce is key to planning an effective marketing strategy. Both are vital to the marketing of an online store.

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