Currency and Numeric Success Events
Although Counter success events will meet most of your success event needs, there will be times when you’ll need to do more than just “count” how often actions happen on your website. For example, what if your executives want to analyze how much customers are paying for shipping or taxes? Those figures can vary with every transaction, so to quantify the total shipping costs for each day, you’d have to pass in the exact shipping cost for each order to a success event on the order thank you page. Using a Counter success event, you could “count” how many times a customer had to pay for shipping, or if you are using an updated version of SiteCatalyst code, you could capture a rounded integer that approximates shipping costs, but there would be no way to capture the exact shipping amount (e.g., $4.52).
This shortcoming in Counter success events is what led to the creation of Currency and Numeric success events (previously referred to as Incrementor success events). Currency and Numeric success events allow you to pass any number you want to them, which allows you to add up any figures you need for your business. The only difference between Currency and Numeric success events is that the Currency events will show the base currency of the report suite in reports and translate any foreign monies into the base currency if needed.
So what are some situations in which you might want to use Currency or Numeric success events? The following are some examples I’ve seen over the years:
- Capture tax or shipping metrics.
- Capture a sale or discount amount associated with an order.
- Capture a page value or assign “points” to a page or action taken by the visitor.
- Capture currency values entered into a loan calculator.
- Capture actual or estimated advertising impression revenue if your website generates revenue from onsite advertising.
- Import metrics from other software tools into SiteCatalyst using the Genesis network. When you import data from other systems into SiteCatalyst, you need to use Currency and Numeric events because you are using batch uploads to increase metrics by more than a count of “1.”
To dig a bit deeper into Currency and Numeric success events, let’s walk through an example. Imagine that Greco, Inc. has a banking subsidiary. The owners of this website want to understand the values of home loan mortgages that site visitors are requesting so they can compare it to the loan amounts that are ultimately provided. For example, if the bank consistently ends up loaning 79 percent of the amount of home loans that are requested online, it can use this information for future estimates.
During the loan application process, applicants fill out a form and are required to enter a loan amount, as shown in Figure 4.4.
Figure 4.4. Greco, Inc. loan application form.
In this scenario, Greco, Inc. could create a Currency success event and possibly name it Requested Loan Amount. It would then instruct its developers to tag the site so that the appropriate Currency success event number is passed a value of 250,000 on the subsequent page. This would result in the Requested Loan Amount success event being increased by 250,000 for the current date. As this same process is repeated with multiple visitors, the bank subsidiary would eventually see a success event report like the one in Figure 4.5.
Figure 4.5. Sample Requested Loan Amount report.
Once the Requested Loan Amount values were captured in the Currency event, the bank subsidiary could download the loan amounts by date and begin to analyze how these Requested Loan Amounts correlate with actual loan amounts in the following months.
After this data is collected, it could be used in a number of interesting ways. For example, if Greco, Inc. was tracking which sources of traffic were driving visitors to the website, it could easily add this new Requested Loan Amount metric to a Marketing Channel report and determine which marketing channels were leading to the highest Requested Loan Amount values. To take it further, Greco, Inc. could divide the Requested Loan Amount by the number of visits from each marketing channel to determine which channel got the most Requested Loan Amounts per visit to the site (Figure 4.6). In the figure, you can see that SEO, SEM, and E-mail are doing better than some of the other marketing channels. I’ll cover marketing channel tracking in a subsequent chapter, but this type of reporting illustrates some of the valuable uses of Currency and Numeric success events.
Figure 4.6. Sample use of Currency success event in Marketing Channel report.
Setting Currency and Numeric Success Events
The tagging behind Currency and Numeric success events is, unfortunately, a bit more complex than it is for Counter success events. In addition to using the s.events string, Currency and Numeric success events also require the use of the products variable string. I’ll cover the products variable in a future chapter, but here is the general syntax for the products string:
s.products=[Category1];[Product1];[Quantity];[Total Price]; [Incrementor];[Merchandising],[Category2];[Product2]...
In the preceding Requested Loan Amount example, the code used to set the Currency success event might have looked like this:
s.events="event20"; s.products=";Home Loan;;;event20=250000";
This code would instruct SiteCatalyst to place a value of 250,000 into event20 for that visitor.
Enabling Currency and Numeric Success Events
Like other success events, Currency and Numeric events are enabled through the administration console. Simply open the success events definition page, click the Add New link, enter a success event name, and then choose from the Type drop-down box (Figure 4.7).
Figure 4.7. Enabling a Currency success event in the administration console.
When you’re selecting event types, even though there are several choices, the main types used are Counter, Currency, and Numeric. Note that you’ll see versions of each of these success events that include “no subrelations.” If you choose that option, you won’t be able to use that success event in any out-of-the-box or customer conversion reports. Instead, you’ll just have a metric report for that metric. I never choose the “no subrelations” option and recommend that you choose the regular version of each event because it offers more flexibility.