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F8 Recap: Go Beyond Sessions with Omni-Channel Analytics

May 18, 2018

On May 1, F8 2018 kicked off and Facebook Analytics had a few big announcements to make. One of those was Journeys, an omni-channel report that goes beyond sessions to help you understand the actual journey to conversion. That includes channels like your website, mobile app, Facebook Page, Bot for Messenger, and more.

When you understand how people truly interact with your business — and how their experience ultimately drives the conversions you care about — you can make smarter business decisions.

So what's a Journey, and why is it important?

If you'd rather not watch a video, we can tell you how Journeys typically look in the real world. At F8, we told the story of how Liz saw a post in her Facebook feed for a jazzy pair of shoes from a boutique's Facebook Page. She goes to the boutique's website to check out the shoes, and decides to download the app.

Liz doesn't buy the shoes for a few days, and when starts checkout in the app, it doesn't have mobile pay so she holds off. Liz doesn't open her laptop and go to the website to buy until a week later.

Traditionally, your analytics would report these as individual sessions. The boutique's mobile app and Facebook Page were significant influences on Liz's journey to conversion, but with the desktop site ultimately the source of conversion, it's tough for businesses' to determine the impact. But now Journeys can let you show you how all these interactions worked to help drive Liz's shoe purchase.

Why an omni-channel approach matters

Omni-channel has been a buzzword for long enough that you've heard stats like this before:

77% of people with 3 or more devices start a task on one device and complete it on another. (1)

With session-focused analytics, you know where people are and have a good sense of what they're doing when they convert. But you miss the chance to understand how people's experiences on other devices and channels ultimately impact this action. And in a world where people rarely interact on just one channel, you're missing the insights that create opportunities for optimization.

And this optimization matters. According to a study released in 2015, Shoppers that used more than one channel had a 30% higher lifetime value than shoppers who only used one. (2)

But how do you create these kinds of experiences if you don't have the data to drive your decisions?

We think a big part of the problem was that you needed a truly omni-channel analytics solution—one that gives you a holistic view of all the ways people interacted with your business.

How do Journeys work in Facebook Analytics?

In Facebook Analytics, your report reviews two types of Journeys: converting and non-converting.

A converting Journey ends when someone triggers a conversion event chosen by you, like Purchase.

A non-converting Journey ends when someone stops being active on any of your properties for a time period, also specified by you.

You can set parameters like Start Channel, End Channel, and Journey Duration for Journeys, just like you can set parameters for other events in Facebook Analytics.

For illustration purposes only.

Journeys data (like all data in Facebook Analytics) is aggregated securely and anonymously. You'll never see an individual person's journey, and you can't access individual demographic data via Journeys. Instead, Journeys surfaces relevant patterns in people's behavior, connecting the dots so you can build a holistic understanding of customer interactions with your business.

What kind of insights can you get from Journeys?

  • How and when people transition from one channel to another. Get a more accurate sense of people's patterns and transitions from your website to your app, or your Facebook Page to your website.
  • Where your top converters start. The channels the people who convert most tend to start in.
  • Where and how many people drop off. How many people timeout before converting—and the channels and devices they were using when they did.
  • How frequently people interact. How many sessions/interactions do people have with your business before converting (or not converting?)

You've had access to rich data for a while. Now, you can get the holistic view designed to let you make smarter decisions, faster.

See it for yourself

If you're already a Facebook Analytics user:

You'll see the Journeys report link in the vertical menu on the left side of your dashboard.

If you don't use Facebook Analytics, but you have the Facebook Pixel or App Events installed:

You already have access! You can You can head into the dashboard to see your data in Facebook Analytics.

If you're new to Facebook Analytics:

Here's how to get set up.

  1. “Multi-Device Usage Study,” by GfK Nov – Dec 2013 (study commissioned by Facebook). Survey of 2,018 UK online adults and 2,004 US online adults.
  2. IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Retail 2015 Predictions — It’s All About Participation Now, IDC, Nov 2014.