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prop and eVar | What is merchandising eVar

Hello my reader, hope your day is going amazing! In this blog I’m gonna cover the merchadizing eVar.

At the time of writing this blog, the world of humans is fighting hard against a virus aka Corona the bitch! We all are mostly working from home, and trying to stay as productive as possible. These are tough times but it’s good that the governments and people are not taking this pandemic lightly. As life is moving on, so is our 10 blog series on props and eVars!

This is the seventh blog in the series. I am peacefully content that I have been able to consistently roll out a blog and made it to this point. Here is the link to the previous six :

prop vs eVar : Adobe Analytics | Permanently solved

props vs eVars | Why is there unspecified in eVar reports? Adobe Analytics

props and eVars | How to use metrics correctly | Blog #3

Props and eVars | Why you should pass page names in both props and eVars?

props and eVars | Passing page URLs in both prop and eVar

props and eVars | What are pathing reports in Adobe Analytics?

Now, lets start with merchadising eVar.

Once upon a time, prop and eVar were banging utensils to thank doctors during Corona pandemic while this happened

You work for an online retail company. The company aims to sell everything that can be legally sold.

There is a new omni-channel marketing manager in a company, Hunter.

Hunter has asked you to do a few analysis exercises –

  1. How many visits does it take for a customer to make a purchase?
  2. Which channel combination is the most common in a purchase journey?
  3. Are there sessions involving multiple channels?

You, the alpha digital analyst with mojo, complete all these analysis exercises and produce some really shiny insights which make Hunter go like this :

Hunter is happy. But there are some followup requests. Since, your site sells a huge variety of items, it can happen that in same session when user is coming from different channels, she is looking for different things via each channel entry.

For example, user comes directly to the site and searches for an android phone and adds that to cart. User then searches for the wireless earphones to go along with it, but does not find anything.

User goes back to Google and searches for wireless earphones. User gets a link of your site only which was not among the top results on your site, but is showing on Google. Using the link user comes back to the site, adds the wireless earphones also to the cart and completes the order. The order includes two items – the android phone and wireless earphones.

So there are 2 orders. Which channel will get the credit here? It’s going to be Google Adwords. Why? Because it was the last channel when both the orders were placed.

But, Hunter wants to create a very sophisticated Omni-channel model and wants the credit of android in the case above to go to direct and credit of only earphones to go to Google Adwords.

Moreover, Hunter wants a regular report on this.

How would you do that?

The challenge is that the order is attributed to all the dimension values that are active at the time of order placement, so how can something be done?

But, you are the alpha digital analyst with mojo. You take the challenge head on.

You spend whole night researching on this and then you come across it – merchandising eVar! Boom

So, what is merchandising eVar?

Using merchandising, you can stick a value to product variable with a value in an eVar.

So, in this case, you create a new eVar to record the channels and enable merchandising in it.

There are two ways to link product with merchandising eVar : Product Syntax and Conversion Variable Syntax. You need to choose one at the time of configuring the eVar in Adobe Analytics admin console:

So, how do the 2 ways differ?

If you choose Product Syntax, you need to define the value of eVar in the product variable itself like below:


If you notice the “|” in the syntax above, you will see that it separates 2 eVars. We can put as many eVars in this as per requirement, they all just need to be pipe separated.

The next option is Conversion Variable Syntax, which is more simple. In this one, you do not need to pass an eVar in the product variable. You simply open the admin console and enable merchandising in the eVar which you want to enable with this function. At the time of processing the data, adobe analytics server will automatically bind the persisting value present in eVar with the value present in the product variable.

For example, you enable merchandising in the eVar that records search keyword. Someone searches for “android” and then views the product “redmi note”. Now all the conversions in this session for “redmi note” will be attributed to search keyword “android”. This is because the value “android” was persisting at the time the product variable had the value “redmi note”.

Next, if you search again for “bluetooth” and add “cross beats” to the cart. Any conversion with cross beat will be attributed to “bluetooth” if you buy “cross beats”. Lets say you remove “cross beats” from the cart and again search for “bluetooth”, but add “boat headphones”, then the conversion for “boat headphones” will go to “bluetooth”.

In both the cases above, the credit for “Redmi note” is still being given to “android” only. Clear right?

Try to imagine this solution, you will able to grasp it better.

So, when would you use the Product Syntax vs Conversion Variable Syntax?

If you can pass the values on same page for eVar and product, you can use either of them. For example, you can pass product brand as merchandising eVar in product syntax because you can get the brand value together with the other values of the product on the same page.

But, if value of your eVar is populated on one page whereas value of your product is populated on other, you need to use the Conversion Variable Syntax. For example, your search keyword will get populated on search results page, your marketing variable will get populated on landing page whereas your product variable will get populated on the product details page.

You may also want to use Conversion Variable Syntax when the same value needs to be associated with multiple products. For example, there can be an eVar to record the payment method. This variable will be passed on Thank You page where there are multiple products. You do not need to pass the eVar with each product. You can simply enable the Conversion Variable Syntax based merchandising and the most recent value of the eVar at the time the product variable was populated will be passed.

Now, coming back to our use case.

You use your newly unlocked superpower of merchandising eVar. Create an eVar to record the utm parameters when they are present, and  record referral when they are absent and record nothing when there is nothing.

You enable merchandising with Conversion Variable Syntax. You do that because marketing information is recorded on landing page and conversion takes at later stages.

Bada boom!

Now, just wait for the data to be populated.

After a few days your data is ready. But, now how do you get this data?

You need 3 dimensions. First one being your merchandising eVar and second one being the visitor ID. Your metrics will be orders and revenue.

But how do you get this report?

Can you use workspace? No. Adobe is still adamant on not providing 2 dimensions in the workspace in same report.

So, perhaps you can use Report Builder. But the report is difficult to share.

Did you try SuperMetrics for Google Sheets? It’s a good alternative. Create a report in Google sheets. Caress the data and link the data to Data Studio. Super!

You the alpha digital analyst with mojo, share the report with Hunter. Hunter loves it and happily approves the purchase of SuperMetrics for Google Sheets.


Now Hunter uses this report as input for some advanced analysis using machine learning.

With this, I conclude my 7th post in this series. In the next post, I’ll be covering counter eVar. Till then, stay home, stay safe, wash your hands and maintain social distance!

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