I have not had a post on some basic elements of Web Analytics in quite some time. Previously I have talked about how a person is tracked on a web site both with internal campaigns and e-mails. I think that stuff is great to know for anybody surfing the internet. It gives you an idea of what all that stuff in the URL is. Check it out if you haven’t.
Once question that comes up quite a bit centers around what a report or analysis means when it talks about Revenue Participation or Order Participation or other ‘Participation’ branded metrics. The first thing you need to know is that it is not the same thing as non-participation branded terms (i.e. revenue <> revenue participation). The second is that participation metrics are related to single pages within a website.
Simply put, when a metric has “participation” attached to it, the metric changes from being a distributed metric to a non-distributed metric.
Lets just concentrate on revenue, but know that the example is not specific to revenue.
Lets assume that I came to a site and purchased $100 worth of stuff. Let us also assume that I saw 20 pages in that time, including checkout pages. When an analyst is looking at reoprts on a page basis there are 2 ways to look at that $100 I spent.
The first way is to attribute (or distribute – however you want to think about it) that $100 across all 20 pages. This means that each page gets $4 worth of demand. This would include any page that I viewed, including the checkout pages. This is nice because no matter how many pages I am looking at I am not double counting revenue. It makes it simple. You can just add up whatever pages you are interested in and you have your revenue number.
The second way is participation. this would give each page that I saw $100 worth of revenue attributed to it. You probaly don’t need me to tell you – but I will anyway – you cannot add up multiple pages with this method. If you did that for my hypothetical purchase you would get $2,000 worth of revenue participation.
It seems a bit odd, but there are definite uses for each way of looking at revenue. The first way – distributed – seems logical at first, but then you are giving revenue away from an index or homepage and giving it to a checkout page. There is not $4 worth of demand on each checkout page. With participation, each page gets full credit, but then you cannot add up multiple pages. Each has its place.
I hope that that clears up the difference between participation metrics and non-participation metrics, at least as far as it relates to those metrics from a page within a website standpoint.
Do you have a preference between these metrics?
This has been a Thought From The Cake Scraps.