Last year we introduced reporting functionality for showing “Hit Trails” for sales. To summarize, a “hit trail” is the list of ad impressions and click-throughs that a visitor followed, leading up to an actual sale.
Recently, there was an ABW post that discussed this functionality and how to derive some useful statistics from the information. With that in mind, we’ve added a summary section to the “Sales Hit Tracking Trail” report that displays those very statistics!
Included in the summary are the calculated average, minimum and maximum values for each of the following:
- Time from last click through to sale: visitors may sometimes click through your affiliate links multiple times before actually completing a sale on the merchant site. This set of statistics measures the time between the last recorded click-through and the eventual sale.
- Time from first visit (impression or click) to sale: this set of values measures the full duration of the hit trail. In other words, it covers the span of time from when the visitor first viewed an ad on your site (if you are using ad impression tracking) or first clicked through one of your affiliate links, until the time of the sale.
The aforementioned ABW post by Donuts provides a good starting point for ways to use these statistics to form conclusions about your own traffic. As an additional example, it’s possible to use this information to partially validate the “referral days” (a.k.a. “cookie days”) value for a merchant (the lifetime of the tracking cookie that is set when a visitor clicks through one of your affiliate links). For instance, if a merchant allows only a 30-day cookie, then you should expect to see a maximum value for “Time from last click through to sale” of less than 30 days. The longer the lifetime of the tracking cookie allowed for a given merchant, the more likely you are to see higher maximum values for this statistic.
For those of you data mining affiliates out there, we hope this helps you in your research!
David & AvantLink