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Mastering Merchandising eVars for Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics

April 17, 2024
4 min read
Mastering Merchandising eVars for Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics

In the world of e-commerce, the understanding of how your products perform is key to success. That's where Merchandising eVars come into play. In this blog post, we'll break down what Merchandising eVars are and how they can help you in your e-commerce analytics. Whether you're a data pro or just getting started, get ready to unlock valuable insights that can take your online store to the next level. Let's get started!

Why you need Merchandising eVars for Supercharged Product Tracking

Merchandising eVars are tailored for product-centric tracking. They allow you to associate detailed product data (e.g., SKU, product name, category) with various success events (e.g., views, adds to cart, purchases) more effectively than regular eVars. For example, you run an e-commerce website selling electronic gadgets. One of your products is a “gaming mouse”, which is categorized under both “PC Components” and “Gaming” categories. Each category provides unique insights and marketing opportunities. In Adobe Analytics, you can create a Merchandising eVar called "Product Category" to capture the category information. When a user purchases this product by finding it in “PC Components”, you set the "Product Category" Merchandising eVar with value “PC Components”. On the other hand, if the user purchases this product from the “Gaming” category the Merchandising eVar takes the value “Gaming”. Thus, with this Merchandising eVar, you can generate reports that show the "gaming mouse" product under both the "PC Components" and "Gaming" categories separately and having  a more accurate representation of product performance.

Binding eVar values to products

There are two methods of binding merchandising eVars’ values to products: Product Syntax and Conversion Variable Syntax

Product Syntax

The Product Syntax method is the most commonly used and it should be used in the examples like the one above. Using this approach, you utilize a dedicated parameter slot within the Products string to specify the merchandising value you intend to assign to each product. The syntax of the s.products is the following:

s.products = [Category1];[Product];[Quantity];[TotalPrice];[Incrementor1]|[IncrementorN];[Merchandising1]|MerchandizingN],[Category2];[Product2]...

As you may see the end of each product slot is reserved from the Merchandising eVars. Note that you may use more than one eVar by separating them with the pipe “|” symbol.

Additionally, the Merchandising eVars should be enabled through the administration console. More specifically, in the new Conversion Variable, which you have created (Figure 1), you have to select the option “Enable Merchandising” (1) and the “Product Syntax” in the syntax in “Merchandising” field (2) as you may see in the below screenshot

Merchandising eVars Product Syntax
Figure 1: Product Syntax

Conversion Variable Syntax

This is the second method to setting Merchandising eVars. First, let's consider a practical scenario. Imagine you run an online fashion store, and a user starts her journey by searching for "red dresses." After a few clicks, she lands on a stunning "Scarlet Red Evening Gown" and she adds it to the cart. Then she does a new search by using the phrase “evening gowns”, she finds the “Midnight Elegance Gown” product and adds it to her cart too. If we have configured an eVar for onsite search phrases with “Most Recent” allocation then for the Cart Addition event the "Scarlet Red Evening Gown" and the “Midnight Elegance Gown” will be correctly associated with the “red dresses” and “evening gowns” respectively. However, if our customer eventually purchases both products, which search keyword would get all the credits for both products? Since our eVar’s allocation is “Most Recent” the “evening gowns” would get the credit. Of course, this result isn’t correct, because it omits the search phrase “red dresses”.

That's where Conversion Variable Syntax and Merchandising can be used, so that to associate every product with the appropriate search phrase. More specifically, in the configuration of the eVar for the search phrase (Figure 2) we select the option  “Enable Merchandising” (1) and we set the “Merchandising” field (2) equals to “Conversion Variable Syntax”. Additionally, we set when Adobe Analytics will bind the search phrase with the eVar value.  For the above example, we select the Cart Addition (scAdd) event in the “Merchandising Binding Event” field (3). However, we can choose any success events that we would like. This way Adobe Analytics binds the last value of the last search phrase that it used with the product that was added to the cart. Thus, when our user completes her order, each product will be associated with the corresponding search phrase and we will have the ability to analyze which specific search phrases lead to particular product purchases.

Merchandising eVars Conversion Variable Syntax
Figure 2: Conversion Variable Syntax


In wrapping up, I hope this guide has made Merchandising eVars and their uses clearer for you. These tools can be a real asset in your e-commerce analytics journey, helping you make better-informed decisions. Whether you're fine-tuning marketing strategies or improving product listings, Merchandising eVars are here to assist you.

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