Does my Mobile App can­ni­bal­ize my Desk­top Traffic?

This is one of the big ques­tions that mobile mar­keters think about with cross plat­form analy­sis. Most of the time we assume that the mobile chan­nel is tak­ing vis­i­tors away from the desk­top chan­nel. A robust solu­tion using Adobe Insight can marry data across plat­forms to answer the cross chan­nel chal­lenge, how­ever, you can get started with cross plat­form analy­sis in Site­Cat­a­lyst by fol­low­ing the steps below. This solu­tion takes behav­ioral data from your mobile report suite and imports it into your Desk­top site report suite via classifications.

This solu­tion requires that you have a com­mon login or cus­tomer ID that is used across your desk­top and mobile app, and that you are record­ing that cus­tomer ID in a Site­Cat­a­lyst variable.

In the mobile report suite, make sure you have set up clas­si­fi­ca­tions on the App Install date eVar as indi­cated in my post about Mobile Cohort Analy­sis. Use Report Builder or Data Ware­house to export the Cus­tomer ID by App Install month.

Customer ID by App Install Month

In your desk­top report suite cre­ate a clas­si­fi­ca­tion on the Cus­tomer ID eVar for “Mobile App Install Month.” Export the SAINT tem­plate. Paste the data from your mobile export for Cus­tomer ID and Install Month into the tem­plate and upload. **For those sites that have a very large cus­tomer base you may con­sider run­ning this on a sam­ple of Cus­tomer ID’s rather than the entire cus­tomer base.

Customer ID by App Install Month SAINT Import

In your desk­top report suite run the clas­si­fi­ca­tion report for Mobile App Install Month using the Vis­its met­ric. Select one cohort (like April 2012 Installs) and trend the report by month for 12 months. Now you can see desk­top site vis­its for users that installed the Mobile App in April. The chart below shows that for this site, Vis­its to the desk­top site fell for the group of users after the Mobile App was installed in April.

Desktop Visits by Mobile App Install CohortHow­ever, this is only the start of an analy­sis. Not all cus­tomers engage with the mobile chan­nel in the same way, par­tic­u­larly in a multi-channel envi­ron­ment. Cus­tomer may not nec­es­sar­ily swap out mobile for desk­top but use a com­bi­na­tion of chan­nels to engage with the com­pany. So let’s go back to our mobile report suite export and get a lit­tle more com­pli­cated. This time export the Cus­tomer ID and Mobile App Install Month for dif­fer­ent seg­ments. For exam­ple, seg­ment data for users that do trans­ac­tions on the app ver­sus those cus­tomers that do NOT do trans­ac­tions on the app. (Or use any seg­ment based on any engage­ment behav­ior like video views, games played, social shares, etc.) The exam­ple below indi­cates those cus­tomers that “YES” do trans­ac­tions and those that “NO” do not do trans­ac­tions on a sup­port app.


Cre­ate a sec­ond clas­si­fi­ca­tion on your desk­top report suite Cus­tomer ID eVar for “Mobile App Trans­ac­tions Seg­ment” and import the SAINT file.

Classification Setup

Run the trended report for “Mobile App Trans­ac­tions Seg­ment” and see which types of users are vis­it­ing the desk­top site more or less often after down­load­ing the mobile app. You may need to over­lay the report with a seg­ment for the spe­cific App Install Month to look at just one cohort of data, or use Report Builder to trend data within a subrelation.

Desktop Visits by Mobile App Segments

The blue bar in the chart shows that desk­top site vis­its from users who do trans­ac­tions on the mobile app, and the orange bar is for vis­its to the desk­top site from users who do NOT do trans­ac­tions on the mobile app. In this exam­ple, users who do trans­ac­tions on their mobile app appear to visit the desk­top site less often after app install. How­ever, users who do NOT do trans­ac­tion on their mobile app are vis­it­ing the desk­top site as often as before app install. This starts the oppor­tu­nity for fur­ther seg­men­ta­tion analy­sis around the mobile chan­nel. Does the mobile app increase total brand engage­ment for the users that are not doing trans­ac­tions on the app, but still using it to check-in? What kind of mar­ket­ing or cross sell oppor­tu­ni­ties does this allow? Mar­keters must view cus­tomers not as mobile users or desk­top users, but by how mul­ti­ple chan­nels con­tribute to the over­all engage­ment with a unique visitor.

Watch the Advanced Mobile Ana­lyt­ics ses­sion recorded dur­ing Sum­mit 2013 to view more about Mobile Analy­sis using Adobe Analytics.