Ecommerce merchants must produce profitable traffic from their advertising efforts. Cash flow is essential. Traffic acquisition must be efficient. However, not all traffic channels drive immediate sales. Some channels assist buyers in their purchase journey but are not the final, direct click that leads to a sale. Those channels can be profitable and worthwhile with an understanding of the purchase cycle.

Google Analytics’ Multi-Channel Funnels reports can evaluate all advertising channels, to determine their value even if they did not represent the final click.

In this article, I’ll explain how to use Multi-Channel Funnels reports. The three sources of traffic I will address are social media, display advertising, and Google Shopping ads.

These three sources can represent 20 percent or more of an online merchant’s traffic, and their return on investment is typically undervalued in Google Analytics’ standard reports.

To access the Multi-Channel Funnels reports, go to Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels.

To access the Multi-Channel Funnels reports, go to Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels.
To access the Multi-Channel Funnels reports, go to

Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels.

The “Overview” report shows how different channels interact over multiple sessions. This can provide a visual story of how shoppers engage via different channels across two or more sessions prior to purchase.

The “Overview” report can provide a visual story of how shoppers engage via different channels across two or more sessions prior to purchase.
The “Overview” report can provide a visual story of how shoppers engage via different channels across two or more sessions prior to purchase.

The “Assisted Conversions” report shows both “Assisted Conversions” and “Last Click or Direct Conversions,” along with their conversion values.

The “Assisted Conversions” report shows both
The “Assisted Conversions” report shows both “Assisted Conversions” and “Last Click or Direct Conversions.”

A metric called “Assisted / Last Click or Direct Conversions” on the far right of the report provides an overview of the conversion data to the left of this final column. Channels above 1 are better at assisting sales than closing sales. Values below 1 are better at closing sales than assisting with sales.

“Assisted / Last Click or Direct Conversions” on the far-right of the report provides an overview of the conversion data to the left.
“Assisted / Last Click or Direct Conversions” on the far-right of the report provides an overview of the conversion data to the left.

Notice that “Display” and “Social Network” have the highest ratios in the above graph. This is typical behavior for display ads and social media, in my experience.

If your Google Shopping…