AB Tasty Web experimentation & Personalization - How do we count conversions ?

Introduction

This article explains the concepts of our conversion mechanics and everything you need to know to understand what happens under the hood.

Visitor

At AB Tasty, every visitor who enters your website must be identified with a unique identifier, attributed to the AB Tasty tag.

By using this method, we can distinguish all of them and attribute them to the right events they have made on your website. 

For more technical information about this, read this part of our developer portal. 

Session 

Once a visitor enters your website, we will initiate a “session”. 

The rule for a session is: 

We create a session for a visitor, from the start of the visit to 30 mins after inactivity. 

 

We will store all the events the visitor has made in a session, and for each new session, we will increment the number of events. 

For example, if the visitor comes to your website at 09:00 AM, and then leaves your website at 09:10 AM, we will end the session at 09:40 AM. 

In this example, you can also see that the visitor made a revisit, at 10:00 AM, respecting the rules of 30 mins of inactivity, by the way, we consider this visit as a whole new session. 

On the reporting side, you’ll be able to split the data between unique visitors and sessions. 

For more technical information about this, read this part of our developer portal.

Hits  

When a visitor completes an action, like clicking on a CTA, an event takes place. 

At AB Tasty, we call these events HITS.

During a visitor journey, we collect hits. 

Some hits are automatically collected, and some have to be set up manually. 

Here is the list of all supported hits, if they are “Handled by tag”, it means that they are automatically sent if they match the trigger condition and if the tag is installed on the page. 

All those hits are gathered once during the visitor session, if a new session occurs, we increase the number of hits in our database. 

Hits are useful for 2 reasons: 

  • Without it, you are technically blind and won’t see the impact of your campaigns.
  • You won’t be able to validate your hypothesis. 

For more technical information about the hit system, read this part of our developer portal.  

 

Traffic allocation

Our product lets you manage allocation for the original version and the variation(s) of a campaign. 

We give you the choice between: 

  • Case 1 - Put the visitor on the original version of your website and track the hits. 
  • Case 2 - Put the visitor on one of the variations you have set up and track their steps.
  • Case 3 - Not tracking visitors, which means that they will see the original version of your website but won't be tracked at all.

For more information about the traffic allocation, read this part of our documentation.

 

Tracking system 

If the visitor is on case 1 or 2 of the traffic allocation, we will track their steps and register every hit from the moment they have been targeted to the variation until the moment their session ends on the website.

We began the calculation for a visitor, once they enter a campaign and are tracked (original or variation). 

This means that if a visitor has triggered 50 hits, we start the count only at the moment they enter the campaign. 

In this example, we can see that the visitor, during their visit, has been allocated to a variation, which means that we begin the registration of all the hits from that time. 

All the hits sent before the allocation are not attached to the campaign, which means that they won’t be shown in the reporting. 

Keep in mind that, once they are targeted to a campaign, we will keep continuing to track their steps until the campaigns end OR the AB Tasty cookie is removed. 

NOTE: You have to be careful and remember our calculation mechanism, you may have differences between the figures from our reporting and other analytics tools which make calculations on other criteria.

You can check this documentation which explains the differences between our tools and GA4 for example. 

 

Tracking system from multiple sessions - 1 campaign / 1 variation per campaign

Once the visitor is allocated to a variation, we will register all the hits from the moment they have been allocated to the moment the campaign ends. 

Use case for this example: 

  • 1 visitor 
  • 1 campaign with 1 variation 

Result:

  • Number of unique visitors: 1 
  • Number of sessions for your visitor: 2 
  • Number of hits registered for the visitor: 6 

In this example, we can see that from the moment the visitor has been allocated to the variation, all the following hits will be saved from the initial session until the end of the campaign (until the campaign is paused or the AB Tasty cookie is removed). 

 

Tracking system from multiple sessions - 2 campaigns / 1 variation per campaign

If you have the case of having multiple campaigns during a visitor visit, nothing changes, we will save all the hits of the visitor from the moment they are allocated to the moment the campaigns are ended. 

Use case for this example: 

  • 1 visitor 
  • 2 campaigns (A & B) with 1 variation on each campaign
    • Blue relates to TEST A 
    • Red relates to TEST B 

Results:

  • Number of unique visitors: 1 
  • Number of sessions for your visitor: 2 
  • Number of hits registered for the visitor in the campaign A: 6 
  • Number of hits registered for the visitor in the campaign B: 4

In this example, we can see that the visitor is allocated to TEST A in session 1, and all the subsequent hits are allocated to it.
Let’s say that you have created another test, while the “TEST A” is still ongoing.
You can see that the hits will be attached to the visitor for both tests. 

Let’s check this logic with a use case 

As you can see in those examples, when a visitor is allocated to a campaign, we begin the count and add all the hits they have triggered during their visits, for all the sessions and future sessions they will do, until the end of the campaign (until the campaign is paused or the AB Tasty cookie is removed).

Let’s try to understand those principles with examples, here is the setup for it: 

  • 1 visitor, will have 3 sessions 
    • Session 1: The visitor visits the website and does all the visit processes (Homepage -> Search product page -> Product page) but in the end decides to not buy the product.
    • Session 2: The visitor revisits the website, does all the process, and buys the product 
    • Session 3: The visitor revisits the website, and buys another product  
  • We will create 2 A/B tests, to understand the logic behind the allocation and the hits agglomeration
    • TEST A
      • Modification of the wording of the purchase button (On the product page)
      • Original: “Add to cart” 
      • Variation 1: “Order now” 
    • TEST B
      • Modification of the wording to validate the payment (On the cart page) 
      • Original: “Pay”
      • Variation 1: “Checkout”

Session 1: The first visit 

For the first visit, the visitor:

  • Enters the website by accessing the homepage
  • Look for the item on the search product page
  • Visits the product page, in this page, there is a “purchase button” - [📌 VISITOR has seen the “TEST A” and is now allocated to a variation]  
  • Decides to leave and buy the product later

Results: 

  • Number of visitors: 1 
  • Number of sessions from your visitor: 1
  • Number of hits registered for the visitor in the TEST A: 1
    • Hit 5: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor have seen the home page

 

Session 2: The revisit 

For the second visit, let’s check the visitor flow:

  • Visitor enters the website by accessing the homepage
  • Look for the item on the search product page
  • Visits the product page
  • Adds the product to the basket 
  • Decides to buy the product

Results: 

  • Number of visitors: 1 
  • Number of sessions from your visitor: 2
  • Number of hits registered for the visitor in the TEST A: 9
  • Hits from the previous session: 1
  • Hits from the current session: 8
    • Hit 1: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor have seen the home page
    • Hit 2: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the search product page
    • Hit 3: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor have selected an item from the product search list, and by clicking on it, they access the product page 
    • Hit 4: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the product page
    • Hit 5: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor has put the product in the basket
    • Hit 6: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the checkout page
    • Hit 7: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor has validated the basket and has bought the product
    • Hit 8: 
      • Hit type = Transaction 
      • AB Tasty sends the result of the transaction 

 

  • Number of hits registered for the visitor in the TEST B: 3
  • Hits from the previous session: 0 (The test has not been seen by the visitor during the 1st session) 
  • Hits from the current session: 
    • Hit 6: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the checkout page
    • Hit 7: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor has validated the basket and has bought the product
    • Hit 8: 
      • Hit type = Transaction 
      • AB Tasty sends the result of the transaction 

 

Session 3: The all-in-one visit 

For this third session, let’s say that the visitor wants to buy another product from the website, and do all the processes in one time. 

Results: 

  • Number of visitors: 1 
  • Number of sessions from your visitor: 3
  • Number of hits registered for the visitor in the TEST A: 17
  • Hits from the previous session: 9 
  • Hits from current session: 8
    • Hit 1: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor have seen the home page
    • Hit 2: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the search product page
    • Hit 3: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor have selected an item from the product search list, by clicking on it, they access the product page 
    • Hit 4: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the product page
    • Hit 5: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor has put the product in the basket
    • Hit 6: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the checkout page
    • Hit 7: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor has validated the basket and has bought the product
    • Hit 8: 
      • Hit type = Transaction 
      • AB Tasty sends the result of the transaction 

 

  • Number of hits registered for the visitor in the TEST B: 11
  • Hits from the previous session: 3 
  • Hits from current session: 8
    • Hit 1: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor have seen the home page
    • Hit 2: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the search product page
    • Hit 3: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor have selected an item from the product search list, by clicking on it, they access the product page 
    • Hit 4: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the product page
    • Hit 5: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor has put the product in the basket
    • Hit 6: 
      • Hit type = Pageview 
      • Visitor has seen the checkout page
    • Hit 7: 
      • Hit type = Action tracking
      • Event category = Action tracking
      • Visitor has validated the basket and has bought the product
    • Hit 8: 
      • Hit type = Transaction 
      • AB Tasty sends the result of the transaction 

Key takeaways:

  • AB Tasty works with session, session ends 30 min after visitor inactivity. 
  • AB Tasty works with hits, some hits are automatically sent, and some have to be set manually. 
    • The hits automatically sent do not require any setup.
    • The hits that have to be set manually have to be set by you, by using our visual editor or implementing custom code, if not, we cannot follow the steps you want to track for your goals.
    • NOTE: If a tracker is set up after the launch of a campaign, the data won’t be retroactive. 
    • You can find the list of automatic and manual hits here
  • AB Tasty lets you manage the traffic allocation for your variations, which is important for controlling the tracked population
    • Original and variations are tracked. 
    • If you have set up a part of the traffic to “Untracked”, this part won't be in the reporting.
  • AB Tasty gathers hits only after the visitor is targeted (By the original or the variation). 
    • We stop the gathering of the hits only if the campaign is paused or the AB Tasty cookie is removed. 

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