To further build upon how to leverage time based segments in Discover I have the following example business question and how one might go about answering that question and taking actions from the data.

Who are my visitors that purchased last month and have returned to the site this month, but not purchased?

The segment needed to answer this question is fairly complicated.  I recommend reading Kevin’s recent post on Discover AND/OR Segmentation, to better understand nesting containers, which we will use a lot.  To begin creating this segment you must launch the Segment Filter Builder.  Now, let’s breakdown the question above.

Visitors that purchased last month

1. In order to successfully analyze the group of visitors that purchased last month, we need all their visitor data, which means the first thing you will do is drag over the Visitor container onto the segmentation canvas.

2. The visitor must have had at least one visit last month, so you will drag over the Visit container and nest it within the Visitor container.

3. Next, “click here to define Visit”.  This is where we will define the time period that the visitor came to the site.

4. Within the rule list select the report “Date: Month” and select the month you want to define as last month.

5. Finally, since we are requiring the visitor to have purchased, you will drag over the Orders event container and nest it within the Visit container.  Your segment should now look like the following.

Visitors that returned to the site this month

1. Adding on to the segment above, we want a visitor to also have visited the site last month, which means we need to nest another Visit container within the Visitor container.

2. As above, it is within this new visit container that we will define the date range, so “click here to define Visits” and create a rule where “Date: Month” equals the month you want to define as this month.

3. So that I can make sure that on the visit this month the customer expressed interest in purchasing I am going to add one more criteria to the segment, that a Product View occurred on the visit.  To add this criteria drag over of the Product View event container and nest it within the Visit container for this month.

Visitors that did not purchase this month

1. Finally we need to ensure that we don’t include visitors that purchased last month and this month.  Click over to the Exclude segmentation canvas.

2. Drag over the Visitor container.

3. Drag over the Orders container and nest it within the Visitor container.

4. Since the order had to occur last month you will “click to define Orders”.

5. Add the rule where “Date: Month” equals your selected month.

6. Don’t forget to save the segment before you close the window.

If you are really familiar with segment building then you may have noticed that I could have simplified the segment.  I have chosen not to in this instance to make it easier to follow the segment creation process.

So what now?  If you plan on using the information you gather in Discover from this segment for targeted email remarketing then you may approach the analysis like the following.

1. Make sure the time period of your project includes both time periods in your segment.  In my example I would need to have the time period include both July and August, not just August.

2. Launch the report Site Metrics > Visits

3. Expand the Chart Options so that you can change the granularity to Month

4. Drag over the segment you just created.

5. Drag over the metric “Product View” under the new segment

6. Breakdown the second month you are analyzing (in this case it is August 2010) by the Products report (or some classification of that report)

7. You may want to look for a product that you would want to feature in an email and then breakdown that product or group of products by your report containing unique user ID.  Now you already know the person is interested in the product and that they have purchased recently, so they are more likely to purchase again.

To be able to pass these IDs on to your internal team that manages email campaigns or to your email vendor you will want to first make sure that you have all the values showing.  At the bottom of the report you will see “Show” and then a dropdown.  From the dropdown select the number of values you need.  Now that the report is set up perfectly you can either copy the report to the clipboard (see the 5 Helpful Discover Tips post for details) or you can email the report using the envelope icon above the workspace.  Don’t forget to save these reports as a project so that you can come back to the report and just change the dates in the segment to get the data for the next time period.

I hope these examples were helpful and sparked ideas of your own on how you can use this functionality to perform actionable analysis for your business.  As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.

James W
James W

Hi Laura any idea on when we will be able to do this type of analysis without a prescribed time frame (Day/week/month) i.e. latency tables? E.g. a vistor did X in a visit followed by Y in a visit in sequence across a time period Z but not necessarily in the same visit? Also the ability to capture session in time period Z before or after an event/activity in a given session? (As can be done in Omniture insight by customising a latency table to use session dimension instead of time/days)

Doug Smith
Doug Smith

I have no actual experience with Omniture ( I'm a NetInsight user) but had no trouble following the steps.

Jim Novo
Jim Novo

Excellent. Now we're really getting somewhere with "customer analytics" as opposed to "web analytics".