Product String Launch Extension

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.

Installation Image SDI BLOG

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.

launch configuration red

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.

3 Installation SDI BLOG

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.

AAPS Simple2Complex

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.

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