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Cross Device Reporting – A new era in customer journey tracking?

Google Cross Device Reporting

On the 11th July 2018 Google announced the roll-out of their new Cross Device Reporting feature in GA called Google Signals.

Cross Device Reporting will take into account people who visit our websites multiple times from different devices. So instead of seeing separate sessions per device (say, someone browsing a site on a mobile and then later on a desktop), we will be able to see when users visited our websites from two (or more) different devices. By understanding these device interactions as part of the bigger picture, we can make more informed marketing decisions on user behavour.

The potential data we can glean from this feature could be mind-blowing! For instance, your online shop has been receiving loads of visits from mobile devices but few conversions. So you have been concentrating your Adwords spend on reaching desktop users, with a negative bid modifier on mobile device ads.

Google signals could potentially show you many new customers initially browse your site via mobile devices and return to purchase on desktop, thus giving you valuable insight and data for your PPC strategy which is not solely based on the conversion metric.

Also, this new feature should hopefully be able to connect the dots for your audience lists based on user spend. Say for instance you’re a clothes retailer and you want to share a special promotion with your most loyal customers. You decide this means people who have purchased more than £500 in clothes on your website in the last 12 months using any of their devices. If a group of customers buy £250 worth of clothes on their phone and another £250 on their desktop, they’re just as valuable as another group who spend £500 on a single device.

Downsides

The Cross Device reports only display aggregated and anonymised data from people who have opted in to personalised advertising. So if users have opted out of Google Personalised advertising, this new feature won’t show their data.

Obviously, users have to be signed into one of their Google accounts (e.g., Gmail, Google+, YouTube) on all the devices used otherwise no cross-device tracking data will be gathered.

Also, as this is freshly out of the oven, there are a lot of unsupported features including Custom Reporting, User-ID Views, Segments and Mobile app properties, although you can be pretty sure it wont be long until these features appear.

To Activate Google Signals

1. Sign in to Google Analytics
2. go to Admin > Property Column > tracking Info > Data Collection

3. Read the information and click CONTINUE.

4. Select the properties for which you want to activate Google signals (all properties of the account, this property only, or a specific subset of properties in the account). Click ACTIVATE.

To read more on this exciting new feature of Google Analytics, read the article on Google Support – Cross Device reports.

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