Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Merchandising Variables in SiteCatalyst

In a traditional store, similar products can be kept in different locations of the store. Knowing the locations which contributed to the sale of these products is important from business perspective. To get the segmented information a label to the product with the location data can be added, this will aid in unfolding the locations from which it was picked.

How do you do it to track these kind of online activities:

You might say it is simple I will use products string in SiteCatalyst, and mention the category in s.products. Hey wait, there is an issue here, the category parameter in the products string has a glitch. For example, having the same product in three different categories, and using the s.products to the denote the categories will leave you disappointed. The credit always goes to the first category through which the prospect views the product for the first time, even though the prospect purchases the product through the second category. Because of category parameter’s inability SC has deprecated its usage.

Now, the other possible option could be using traditional eVars.There is a glitch here also. eVars can hold only one value at a time. For example, there are two categories in a website. Visitor Mr.Kamal goes to category one, selects a product7, adds to shopping cart. Visitor Mr.Kamal decides to continue shopping, goes to category two, didn’t like anything and he moves on directly to the shopping cart and purchases the product7 in few steps. Since Kamal has gone to category two, and since eVar can hold only one value at a time, the credit of the sale is garlanded to category two which is wrong..

Now you know that the category parameter in s.products and traditional eVars are not the right choices.

“Merchandising variables” were dawned to overcome the above stated issues, and it has been a complete success.

About Merchandising Variable & its Features: Merchandising variables allows you to compare the relative effectiveness of multiple product categories, as shown in the following questions. 1. Which product categories have the highest/lowest conversion? 2. Does a specific product sell better under one category versus another? Cross-category merchandising is possible by enabling additional features on existing evars.

Typical Usage Examples: Consider a retailer web site which is segmented into multiple product categories. The retailer is interested in knowing whether a specific Leather Jacket converts better under the Sales category than under the Jackets category.

Additionally, the retailer has positioned promotions for the Leather Jacket in multiple premium locations throughout the site and would like to know which placement converts best.

Implementation – Step 1

Enable Merchandising

Enable cross-category merchandising on any of your purchased Conversion Custom Insight variables (evars).

Implementation – Step 2

Configure Merchandising Settings
Name: Report name displayed in SiteCatalyt

Type: Text String- Any text label Counter – Used to count the number of times an action is performed by a use Expire: After Determines how long the merchandising category should persist
First Seen – Persist the first category in which a product is viewed.
Most Recent – Persist the most recent category in which a product is viewe

Two Syntaxes of Merchandising:

Product Syntax: Declare merchandising category within s.products.

Conversion Variable Syntax: Declare merchandising category in the designated merchandising s.evar.

Cross-category merchandising requires the populating of specific JavaScript variables throughout the conversion checkout process. There are two syntax options described below. The syntax option is dependent on the Merchandising setting above.

Implementation Step 3 – Product Syntax

Set the Required JavaScript Merchandising Variables When Product Syntax is enabled, the merchandising category is populated within the products variable. This allows a different merchandising category to be tied to each product within the products variable.  NOTE: When you list an eVar as part of the product variable string, the word evar must be all lowercase.

Product Syntax

s.events=”prodView,event1″ s.products=”category;product;;;;evarN=merch_category|evarM=merch_category2“

Product Variable Syntax Examples

Example 1:


s.products=”Jackets;Leather Jacket;;;;evar1=Mens:Jackets“

In the example above, the product “Leather Jacket” is assigned to the merchandising category “Mens:Jackets.” All subsequent success events (product adds, checkouts, purchases, etc.) for the product “Leather Jacket” will be credited to the merchandising category “Mens:Jackets.“

Example 2:

s.events=”prodView,event1″ s.products=”Jackets;Leather Jacket;;;;evar1=Mens:Jackets|evar2=mens“

In this example, two eVars are separated by a pipe. This configuration is used to merchandise one product to multiple categories. Additional pipe-delimited eVars can be added.

Implementation Step 3 – Conversion Variable Syntax

Based on the structure of your site, it might be easier to capture a Merchandising value before you are actually looking at the product, like when you enter that section of the site. The persistent nature of eVars and the Conversion Variable Syntax provide this alternative for tracking. The binding configuration setting is the key to knowing when the merchandising category will be tied to the product.    For example, if only prodView is specified as a binding event the merchandising category will only be tied to the current product list at the time the event happens. It will take the current value of the eVar (or virtual value) and tie the two together. NOTE: Most retail sites configure prodView (Product Views) and scAdd (Cart Additions) for binding events when using the Conversion Variable Syntax.

Conversion Variable Syntax Examples

Example 1: s.events=”prodView,event1″



Example 2: s.events=”prodView,event1″

s.products=”Jackets;Leather Jacket”


Limitations: Only 50 Merchandising conversion variables are available


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