Product String Launch Extension

by | Nov 28, 2018

Introduction

Whether you manage eCom­merce sites, Hospi­tal­ity sites, Lead Gen sites, or other types of sites, most imple­menters of Adobe Analyt­ics can find a use for the Product String when imple­ment­ing Adobe Analyt­ics. The Product String allows users to send extremely rich data in ways that are unique in Adobe Analyt­ics. However, one key area that Adobe Analyt­ics imple­menters continue to strug­gle with is product string syntax. This is because the syntax has hard-coded posi­tions that have to be kept straight, users need a funda­men­tal under­stand­ing of merchan­dis­ing eVars to fully lever­age the product string, and, if you use DTM or other tag managers, the product string has to be custom coded rather than built using the UI. This often results in errors in the imple­men­ta­tion that lead to incor­rect data, or the product string is under-utilized because the concepts are not very intu­itive. Before we jump into a key solu­tion we have built in Launch, by Adobe, let’s review the key concepts of the Product String.  

Product String Overview

The product string houses some of the richest data you can send to Adobe. Below you will find the syntax for the product string.

s.products=[Category1];[Product1];[Quantity];[Total Price];[IncrementorA|IncrementorB];[Merchandising eVarA|Merchandising eVarB], [Category2];[Product2]; etc…

  • Cate­gory — The cate­gory of the product. Many people have stopped using the cate­gory, because the use of Cate­gory was discour­aged due to limi­ta­tions of the plat­form (prior to v15), and they clas­sify the Product later with Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Importer (formerly SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions). There is still a very good use to differ­en­ti­ate prod­ucts from other types of money you are collect­ing, such as ship­ping or tax.
  • Product — This is typi­cally the Product ID or SKU. If you are in hospi­tal­ity, it might be a prop­erty ID. If you are in Lead Gen, this might be the Lead Form ID that someone filled out.
  • Quan­tity — This is the number of units of the given product being purchased and is only used in the context of a purchase event.
  • Total Price — This is the total price of all of the units of the product being purchased and is only used in the context of a purchase event. A common mistake is to include the entire order total rather than just the total for the given product covered in the Product field.
  • Custom Events — Now this is where we start having some fun! In the Custom Events section, you can pass addi­tional data about the product. The data from events will likely be numeric or currency events. Common use cases include product-level discounts, product rating, and product review count.
  • Merchan­dis­ing eVars — These will be set with Product Syntax because, in this case, they are included in the product string.. Similar to Custom events, you can pass addi­tional data about the product, but this data will be text rather than numeric or currency vari­ables. Common use cases include product size or color. Keep in mind you can upload data about prod­ucts later using Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Importer, so merchan­dis­ing eVars should be used to capture meta­data that you need to know at the time of the inter­ac­tion.

Example

If I were to buy the follow­ing prod­ucts:

  • Two yellow t-shirts with the SKU of app-122. The unit price is 19.99, so the total price for the two shirts is 39.98.
  • One pair of blue pants with the SKU of app-342. The unit price is 49.99, so the total price is also 49.99 because it is just one pair.
  • Tax is 8.99.

Then the product string could be set:

s.products=”product;app-122;2;39.98;;eVar10=”yellow”,product;app-342;1;49.99;;eVar10=”blue”,tax;tax;1;8.99;;”

Product String Extension for Launch, By Adobe

Up to this point when using old-fash­ioned, on-page Adobe imple­men­ta­tions or DTM, some amount of custom code was required. That ends today! We are intro­duc­ing Search Discovery’s Adobe Analyt­ics Product String Exten­sion for Launch, by Adobe. This exten­sion is the best product string builder yet, enabling the user to easily set every compo­nent of the product string in the UI, includ­ing merchan­dis­ing vari­ables.

Installation

In order to install the exten­sion, go to the Exten­sions tab of Launch, go to the Catalog subtab, find the “AA Product String Builder,” and click Install.

On the Config­u­ra­tion tab, you will find a descrip­tion of how the tool works and how to use it in key scenar­ios. There is no actual config­u­ra­tion required though, so all you need to do is hit “Save.”  Don’t worry — you can always get back to this screen by click­ing the “Config­ure” button on the installed exten­sion.

How to Use It

To use Search Discovery’s Adobe Analyt­ics Product String Exten­sion, go to the Rules tab and create a new rule. Config­ure the trig­ger­ing event for your desired event. Add a new Action.

In the Action Config­u­ra­tion, select the “AA Product String Builder” exten­sion and the Action Type to “Set Vari­able.” Give the action a name so you can distin­guish it in the action sequence. Then fill out the Data Layer Settings.

Root Data Object

Must return a JSON object to serve as the root for the product collec­tion path.

Option 1. Use a data element that returns your data layer JSON object.
Option 2. Use event data such as %event.detail% (if the rule’s trigger supports this).

Launch Data Element syntax ( %dataEle­ment­Name% ) is expected here.

Product Collection Path

This field spec­i­fies the path to your product collec­tion (product object array).

If your product object array exists at digitalData.cart.item and Root Data Object is returned from digi­tal­Data, then you would enter cart.item here.

Product String Core Settings

These fields popu­late the core portions of the product string, includ­ing Cate­gory, Product, Quan­tity, and Total Price, which can be found in the first to fourth parts of a product string stanza:

s.products=category;productID;quantity;price;events;evars

These fields popu­late the core portions of the product string, includ­ing Cate­gory, Product, Quan­tity, and Total Price.

Product String Custom Events

This feeds the fifth part of a product string stanza:

s.products=category;productID;quantity;price;events;evars

Custom events that are set in the product string must be config­ured as “numeric” or “currency” in the Adobe Analyt­ics report suite settings.

Product String eVars

This feeds the final part of a product string stanza:

s.products=category;productID;quantity;price;events;evars

Each eVar and its value will be added to the eVars portion of the product string.

EVars that are set in the product string must be config­ured as “merchan­dis­ing” enabled with “product syntax” in the Adobe Analyt­ics report suite settings.

Examples

The AA Product String Builder provides the ability to create product strings repre­sent­ing every­thing from the simplest Product Viewed event to the most complex Order Placed scenar­ios.

Closing Thoughts

It’s an excit­ing time to be doing Adobe Analyt­ics imple­men­ta­tions using Launch because of the strength of Launch Exten­sions. If you need help imple­ment­ing with Launch, please reach out to us.

Ready to get started?
Reach out to learn more about how we can help.

I consent to having Search Discovery use the provided infor­ma­tion for direct market­ing purposes includ­ing contact by phone, email, SMS, or other elec­tronic means.