Advertiser FAQ: Cross-Channel Attribution

Get answers to questions about our Cross-Channel Attribution Reports.

What is multi-touch attribution? 

Multi-touch attribution is the process of identifying the actions or touchpoints taken by a user that contribute to a desired outcome and assigning a value to each event. This allows brands to better understand which combination of events, and in what order, leads to user engagement and conversion. By analysing these touchpoints and their respective values, you can make more informed decisions about your marketing strategies and optimise them accordingly. 

What is cross-channel attribution? 

Cross-channel attribution is a methodology that divides a customer’s purchase and associated actions among various channels and offers valuable insights into how each channel contributes to conversions throughout the customer journey. 

How is a journey defined? 

A journey starts when a customer clicks through to your eCommerce site and continues for every subsequent time the customer returns to your site (regardless of source) before the customer converts.

Commission Factory’s journeys can track up to 30 days or 50 touchpoints, whichever is reached first. 

What is an attribution funnel? 

An attribution funnel refers to the customer’s buying cycle, which starts from awareness, to interest, to desire, and then action (I.e. purchase). 

As a rule, the attribution funnel is presented in three parts: the top/upper funnel for attracting new visitors, the middle funnel for converting new visitors into qualified leads, and the lower/bottom funnel for conversions or sales.  

A solo conversion means there were no other interactions in the funnel and the purchase came from one source.  

How is Commission Factory measuring attribution?

Attribution is measured using several different methodologies to assign a value to a specific touchpoint, the algorithm is based on Shapley Game Theory, domain knowledge, data categorisation, testing, and learning.   

Who are these reports for?

These reports are designed for Commission Factory advertisers who want to gain a deeper understanding of their digital marketing strategy, develop more strategic and holistic campaigns across all channels, and recognise the added value of the affiliate channel within the Commission Factory user interface.  

Brands on our Elevate technology plan can start using these cross-channel attribution reports today.  

    What channels are being compared in the reports?  

    Data can be pulled in from any active online channels you work with. For example, common channels include: 
    • Affiliate 
    • Bing Ads 
    • Direct 
    • Email 
    • Google Ads 
    • Organic Social 
    • Referral 
    • SEO

    What partners are being compared in the reports?  

    All partners who are currently approved on your affiliate partnership program.  

    How can I tell which publishers are driving higher performance beyond the last click data? 

    The ‘Channel Performance Report’ showing ‘Affiliate Attributed performance’ demonstrates the difference between the revenue being delivered via last touch compared to attributed revenue. When a positive percentage is shown, this affiliate is having a greater influence on conversions than the last click model is attributing. This is visualised in the table above showing ‘Attributed Revenue’ Vs ‘Last Click Revenue’. 

    Why is there less affiliate revenue tracked with cross-channel attribution reports?  

    This is typically for two reasons:  

    1. The channel attribution model is based on fractional attribution, where a sale and the associated revenue are split across all the touchpoints involved on the path to conversion. In contrast, Commission Factory will reward the affiliate with 100% of the sale. Based on this, you may experience considerable differences in sales and revenue.  
    2. Additionally, Commission Factory has multiple tracking methods to award an affiliate with the sale, such as clickless code tracking. Cross-channel attribution will only see affiliate involvement if there has been a click from the affiliate partner’s site with affiliate tracking present. Any sales Commission Factory tracks by other methods won’t be tracked into the attribution reports.  

    It is worth nothing, despite these marginal differences, the amount of data in cross-channel attribution reports is substantial to provide learnings and insights to marketers.  

    I'm concerned cashback and coupon publishers are not adding real value to my partnership program. How can I measure their influence on the purchase decision?

    You can navigate and select the “Funnel Affiliates” report within the attribution reports to identify which areas of the conversion path cashback and voucher sites are interacting with customers. Additionally, select the "Incremental revenue drivers” report to understand whether the publisher drives incremental revenue by increasing basket value when involved at any stage of the journey. 

    Is it worth using custom commissions to enhance my affiliate program? 

    Using the "Funnel Affiliates" report, advertisers can better understand which partners drive sales at which point. This will allow you to see whether the affiliate initiated new purchase journeys (First) or drove unassisted (Solo) conversions, typically a reason to create custom commissions, depending on your business objectives.  

    The table below indicates the different capabilities for creating custom commissions based on each technology plan.





    Commission by Affliate
    Commission by Coupon Code  
    Commission by Customer Type  
    Commission on product SKU  
    Commission by Category  
    Commission by Brand  
    Commission by Custom Variables    
    Commission by Custom Publisher Variables    

    What is the Journey Paths Report? 

    The Journey Paths report provides you with a comprehensive breakdown of the customer journey, including its length and unique touchpoints. By analysing individual transactions, the report offers detailed insights into customer behaviour, showcasing every click the customer made before purchasing on your website. 

    What is the difference between journey length and unique touches? 

    • Journey Length: This refers to the total number of touchpoints a customer goes through to complete an order. 
    • Total Order Touches: This counts all the unique touchpoints a customer encounters while placing an order.
    • Order Duration: This is the amount of time, measured in days or hours, it takes a customer to complete an order from start to finish, i.e., conversion. 

    How can I find hidden partnership opportunities with these reports? 

    The best way to identify partners for optimisation would be to look at the attributed revenue variance column within the ‘Channel Performance Report’ showing ‘Affiliate Attributed performance’. Those affiliates with a positive variance currently have a greater influence on sales than the last-click model would give them credit for. It would be advisable to reach out to these partners to arrange increased placement opportunities and optimise the relationship to drive greater success in the channel.  

    How can I access these reports? 

    These reports are available to all clients on our Elevate technology plan. Go to the Commission Factory >> Reports >> Attribution.  

    What happened to the basic Attribution Report ‘Introducer/Influencer/Closer’?  

    For Elevate clients, the basic Attribution report that showed Introducer/Influencer/Closer information has been upgraded to eight much more powerful Cross-Channel Attribution Reporting.  

    The basic Attribution report that Core and Grow clients can access only shows data based on the affiliate channel. Elevate users have access to a more robust series of reports that pulls in data from multiple digital marketing channels. To see an affiliate’s influence on the Sales Funnel the ‘Funnel Affiliates’ Report can be used.