Cross-Device Attribution

Cross-Device Attribution is a method of determining which marketing strategies influence consumer actions across multiple devices.

Cross-Device Attribution is an advanced analytic approach used by marketers to determine how different advertising channels and marketing strategies contribute to customer interactions and conversions over a multiple device journey. As consumers now use numerous devices such as mobile phones, desktops, tablets, smart TVs, and wearable tech in their online/ecommerce interactions, it has become crucial to identify the role and impact of each device on the conversion path.


Imagine a consumer sees an ad for a product on their mobile device during their morning commute. Later, they search for the product on their desktop at work but makes no purchase. Finally, the consumer makes a purchase using a tablet at home in the evening. In this example, a successful Cross-Device Attribution model would credit each device for its impact on the final purchase.

Why is Cross-Device Attribution important?

Cross-Device Attribution is pivotal for the following reasons:

  1. Customer Journey Understanding - It assists marketers in understanding the customer journey across various devices to achieve a conversion.
  2. Investment Decision - It aids in making informed marketing spend decisions by revealing which digital channels and devices are contributing the most to conversions.
  3. Personalized Experience - It allows marketers to tailor experiences based on users' device usage patterns, increasing engagement and enhancing User Experience (UX).

Which factors impact Cross-Device Attribution?

Improving Cross-Device Attribution involves:

  1. Using the right attribution model - Not all conversions are the same, so it is important to use a model that suits your business, like First Touch, Last Touch, Linear, Time Decay, or Differential Attribution models.
  2. Machine Learning - AI and machine learning can process large sets of data, find correlations and improve the attribution model.
  3. Leveraging identity resolution solutions - These solutions create a unified customer profile across devices to accurately attribute conversions.

How can Cross-Device Attribution be improved?

  1. Cookie Blocking/Deleting - It makes tracking across devices challenging as cookies are the primary means of user identification.
  2. Device Fragmentation - The growing number of devices increases complexity in tracking each stage of the user journey.

What is Cross-Device Attribution's relationship with other metrics?

Cross-Device Attribution closely relates to several ecommerce metrics:

  1. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) - Effective cross-device attribution allows marketers to accurately measure ROAS by attributing the revenue to the right channels.
  2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) - Identifying high-performing channels helps in the efficient allocation of marketing spend and reducing CAC.
  3. Conversion Rate - By understanding the buyer's journey across devices, marketing strategies can be optimized to improve the conversion rate.

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