How to Track and Attribute eCommerce Phone Orders the Right Way

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In this Surge Session, we will be talking about how to properly track and attribute eCommerce phone order campaigns and which tools we recommend for evaluating a multi-channel attribution model. Our CEO Duran Inci is joined by our Director of Marketing, Joseph Hassun.

Tools to Evaluate, Track, and Attribute eCommerce Phone Orders

 

A lot of people have this problem, and the problem is the fact that most businesses do not track their phone calls. They just have their salespeople take phone calls, and they can’t put it back into an online tracking system or an e-commerce system.

There are tons of software out there that provide you with trackable phone numbers, known as dynamic phone tracking. These trackable phone numbers are pretty expensive. The solution itself is pretty expensive. The more numbers you get, the more expensive it gets.

There are a couple of tools out there, such as DialogTech. What it does is it gives you a trackable phone number that you can then place on a landing page, and you can attribute any lead that comes through that landing page, places a phone call, that then moves and completes an order.

However, this solution still has limitations. One of the largest limitations being there’s no way to track any organic visitors that come to your site. You can track organic visitors as a whole. You can tell what landing page an individual was on because that number was only on that landing page, but you can’t tell what individual placed an order organically that made a phone call.

If you want to create specific campaigns and ads, Google AdWords allows you to actually attribute a phone number. They use Google Voice and they integrate it with a couple of different third parties. But that only works mostly for lead generation businesses. It doesn’t work for e-commerce. Especially if you have hundreds and thousands of products. That’s where the technology has limitations, especially for small size businesses. You don’t want to go and spend thousands of dollars to be able to attribute your phone orders.

The Challenges of Tracking and Attributing eCommerce Phone Sales

 

Another challenge is the following. If you want to use these systems, you have to have an integrated system. Because if, for example, I’m using a dynamic phone tracking, my salesperson has to take the order over the phone, then go back and attribute it to an order, and for that to happen automatically, you have to already be integrated. So the need for a lot of infrastructure is really the challenge.

If you have this kind of structure and you want to use these dynamic phone tracking tools or systems, the eCommerce system you want to go with is the one that allows you to have any type of custom integration because a lot of these don’t really have pre-built integrations.

Shopify and BigCommerce integrate with some of these tools. They have a far more extensive app store. They have a lot more integrations than your average e-commerce platform. You would look at one of those solutions because they most likely have them, but if not, you would want some sort of open-source solution that you can have somebody develop a custom integration for, but that gets expensive.

There’s no low cost, straight-forward option for most people out there who just need to track their phone calls, bring it back to a database, and attribute it to where this order actually came from.

It’s the same reason why any type of lead attribution or conversion attribution is necessary. You need to know what marketing effort, what campaign, what specific keyword that you’re trying to rank for organically actually led to a conversion.

You need to know if your efforts are well placed. If you are just blindly working on a content marketing strategy but don’t know exactly if any of that is actually generating any revenue for you, you could potentially be wasting money and time. So you want to identify the sources, the resources, the channels that work, and you want to put your money more into those channels.

How many people are really attributing this accurately? Probably less than five percent. It’s very difficult. The technology just hasn’t really gotten there yet. There are still manual aspects that need to be done in order for this to be tracked 100% properly. The cost is one of the biggest obstacles right now.

You have to be able to tell which campaigns, which keyword targeting, which ads your sales are coming from and then hand it off in real time to your marketing person or your third-party marketing company because that’s the only way you can hold people accountable. Otherwise, as a business owner, you cannot hold anyone accountable because you don’t know what’s performing and what’s not performing.

Best Attribution Solutions for eCommerce Phone Order Tracking

 

Let’s talk about the solution for this because there aren’t a lot of solutions in the system. The best solution right now at the moment, given the technology that we have and the extent of it, is creating custom trackable session IDs. What this does is it tracks every single user that comes to the site and provides them with a unique session ID.

Now, this session ID, if it leads to a phone call, can be tracked through Google Analytics. The same for if you want to know if a session ID placed a phone call and you can determine where they came from as well.

However, once they place that call, the only way for this to work is the salesman needs to ask them what their session ID is so that way they can plug it into the system and that sale can be attributed to that session ID. That’s the only manual action.

Then, the moment they enter that session ID, what we are doing with the javascript that we’ve created is we’re already recording every single session that’s being opened through the servers. Then we can tie them together into a report that you can actually import back into your platform and see which order numbers came from which session IDs. The session ID is tied back to wherever you are from.

It’s actually a very easy and basic solution for this huge problem that over 95% of companies have right now. This solution could be used by eCommerce companies as well as lead generation companies

Below we have a screencast of the custom system that we have created. Watch the screencast, look at the tool, and let us know what you think.

 

 

Need help properly tracking and attributing eCommerce phone order campaigns? Want more information on our custom solution for eCommerce phone order tracking?

Contact us. We’re here to help.

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