Cross-Device: Tracking in a multi-device world


What are cross-device conversions?

Nowadays consumer purchase journeys involve multiple devices. On average, two out of five purchases that finish on either a mobile, desktop/laptop, or tablet, start on a different device.

In 2018, the number of people that are using a mobile device has gone up by 4%, hitting 5.135 billion, while the usage of desktop devices has dropped by an additional 3%. However, it seems that the mobile usage is an addition rather than a replacement. Almost half (48%) of consumers claim they start searching for a product on their mobile device first, and 67% of the consumers claim that they go from screen to screen while making online purchases on a laptop or a desktop device.

Tradedoubler started to measure cross-device conversions in 2016, being the first affiliate marketing company to make it workable on a European-wide level, driven by the need of providing accurate tracking to advertisers and publishers, avoiding missed sales and incorrect attribution in a multi-device ecosystem.


How does Tradedoubler measure cross-device conversions?

At Tradedoubler we have developed a solution based on deterministic matching, rather than probabilistic matching. Probabilistic matching can provide a greater reach than deterministic matching as it does not rely on users performing any actions (i.e. logging in on a device). However, it relies on algorithms and probability, which makes it less accurate than deterministic matching with an accuracy rate that can vary from as little as 60% to 90%.

Deterministic matching does not use algorithms based on probability to pair a user with devices – what it does require is a definite link between a user and a device to build an anonymous profile, all of this complying with EU privacy rules. The advantage of this type of tracking is its accuracy. It is more precise than probabilistic tracking because a match is only made when there is a definite link between a user and a device.

But there is, of course, a disadvantage, as it requires a large reach to gather enough connections to be effective. Tradedoubler’s network of over 180,000 active publishers and 2,000 advertisers allows us to achieve this reach, producing over 57 million conversions.

Taking advantage of our vast network, at Tradedoubler we are able to deliver the accuracy offered by deterministic matching at scale.


How does Tradedoubler’s cross-device solution work?

Tradedoubler’s cross-device tracking creates an anonymous connection between a user and their devices, using deterministic matching. Thanks to this, we are able to create an anonymous profile, giving our clients accurate understanding of how their digital marketing budget is performing across devices and channels.

Using our white-label solution, our clients have a full view of their Digital Marketing activities, to accurately track all channels. Each touchpoint tracked can be visualized within our business intelligence platform, to measure an omnichannel marketing strategy effectively, and an accurate cross-device tracking is essential.


Is cross-device the definitive solution?

With a more privacy-oriented user behaviour and an increased number of technologies that are jeopardizing the utilization of cookies, such as ad blockers, private browsing or ITP 2.0 on Safari, the need to provide a reliable and future-proof tracking solution for our clients is our top priority at Tradedoubler.

To provide the highest possible accuracy rates, we always suggest using our full stack of technologies: cross-device tracking, alongside our first party cookie validation, cookieless tracking and exclusive voucher tracking solutions, providing our advertisers with a highly detailed overview of their affiliate activity on Tradedoubler’s network.




The Author:

Riccardo Favara is leading the technical department within Tradedoubler UK as Technical Client Director since 2015 and is a member of UK management. Alongside the rest of the team, Riccardo oversees the pre-sale technical consultancy, the onboarding process (technical implementation) while providing first line technical support to our entire portfolio of UK clients.

As a digital marketing specialist, with a wide knowledge of the digital landscape and an in-depth experience in the affiliate channel, his area of expertise lies within tracking, with an extensive involvement in custom integrations, connecting new technology partners to advertisers and help them grow their business from a technical perspective, working side by side with all business units.

Follow Riccardo Favara on Linkedin.

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