Cross device/platform visitor identification - Alternative to Cookie Stitching



Currently it is very difficult to identify users across different digital devices or in other words Multi-Channel attribution across different digital devices is very complex. However here is one approach to solve this problem. This can be very useful in identifying visitors across multiple devices.


This approach works on very simple principle that users can be uniquely identified using some unique id because

1) User have to register on your site to perform key actions (commerce,FAQ/ Support Sites)

2) Users have to log in to social site for liking or sharing (Branding)

3) Users have to enter email ids or mobile number (Lead Generation)


There is already s_vi cookie which stores unique visitor id and adobe uses it internally to get unique visitor information. Now if s_vi and any one of unique ids mentioned above can be stitched together to identify same visitor we can identify any visitor across any digital device once he logs in or enters his unique id.

Trick is to have an array of s_vi values tied to some unique id rather than different s_vi values. The end result should be a custom unique visitor metric which can be directly used in Site Catalyst or adhoc analysis like other existing metrics and for creating segments.


If implemented it will let analyze complex micro conversion behavior across different digital devices.

7 Comments (7 New)



You can leverage the s.visitorID variable to set your own custom visitor ID based on some sort of authentication process. Assuming you set this variable universally across all digital channels, you can stitch this data together.



Eric we do not want to lose default unique visitor metrics but  want a new custom unique visitor metrics to be implemented. So we can even compare the results that how good is new visitor id logic is performing.


Because implementing something new might change the way reports look. You can not directly make decisions on new approach unless you have confidence in it and more importantly your clients have confidence in it. Comparing the data with existing visitor tracking will give better understanding of how custom unique visitor metric is performing.


Interestingly there is one option to use one eVar as unique visitor id however that information can only be accessed through datawarehouse. Smiley Sad



We are actually attempting the same thing (custom visitor ID in an eVar separate from v_id), and the problem for us is in the segment-ability, because you can't segment on equal eVar values without some definition of specific values.



Please excuse the fact that I am not a developer at all.


The current way to perform cross device tracking is to overide the Visitor ID with an Authenticated ID.  The issue with this is that if a user views the first 10 pages of a visit anonymously and authenticates on the 11th page, a new visit/visitor will be triggered from the 11th page moving forward.  The traffic sources of the original visit will be lost and the new visit/visitor will look like typed/bookmarked or internal traffic within marketing channels.


Can we create a way to stich these visits together?   I assume it would be possible to have something called a 'stitch event' that gets set by a developer on authentication.  This would tell Adobe that it is ok to stich the 'two sessions" (not really two sessions together.  Maybe there would have to be a new "Visitor ID" cookie created that only gets activated if the stich event is set.  Once the stich event is set, the authenticated ID would become new cookie moving forward.









YES.  In my mind the fact that this happens almost makes visitor stitching worthless.  It's great that it stitches multiple devices after the fact, but if it can't even stitch the visit together that causes huge problems, especially with campaigns.  If I come to the site with campaign A, add some stuff to my cart, start the checkout, and then login during the checkout, all of that stuff that I did previously is worthless.  Thus is a MUST HAVE feature, and something that is already expected of it.



It would be great to have the option for eVars to persist across devices.  Obviously it would require a Marketing Cloud ID or VisitorID to work, but having that could open much more accurate reporting.


This could solve the Campaign Stacking issue where it's just for a given browser because it uses cookies.  Sharing eVars across devices would even allow you to do neat things like Device Stacking.


UPDATE: I understand why this was moved from a standalone post to this thread, but I'm not sure that Marketing Cloud ID allows eVars to work across sessions, browsers, and devices.  This would move Analytics from session-based to customer-based and beyond just identity to attributes as well.  If cross device eVars were implemented, we'd at least see additional expiration options (e.g. expire on mobile session, expire on session number ____).