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Understanding Polar Pixel & Attribution
Understanding Polar Pixel & Attribution

This article details what the Polar Pixel and Polar Attribution models are and how they work.

Abby Garland avatar
Written by Abby Garland
Updated over a week ago

We know how important it is to see what works and what doesn't. That's why we've launched the Polar Pixel, a first-party model that will allow you to gain accurate attribution insights into your marketing channel and campaign performance (and it's compatible with iOS 14 and later versions)!

The Polar Pixel is easy to install — you only need one piece of Javascript code on your Shopify theme, with no impact on speed, and configure your ads UTM tracking parameters (and if you're a Shopify 2.0 user, we can easily configure our Polar Pixel Extension for you). This model enables you to identify poor-performing campaigns, scale high-performing ones, and train the algorithms to generate more sales for your business. To guide you, we've created this comprehensive guide detailing how to set up the pixel & your ads' tracking parameters (to automatically match UTM tags with spend and collect conversion data by click ID).

With the Polar Pixel, you'll be able to:

  • Improve your attribution accuracy using a server-side, first-party tracking system with a custom attribution window, giving you more data to make confident decisions with.

  • Deduplicate conversions from multiple ad platforms, and calculate metrics like CAC and ROAS by channel and campaign.

  • View Customer Journeys and paths to purchase

Send accurate data back to your ad platforms via the Conversion API Enhancer to improve algorithm training.

How-to: View Polar Pixel Data

Once you've set up the Polar Pixel, you'll be able to access accurate attribution data in Polar within the Key Indicators, Acquisition tab, and Custom Reports. You'll also have full flexibility over how the data is broken down & filtered, and can adjust the attribution model and custom attribution window within your reports.

Keep in mind you will need at least 2 weeks after installation (meaning two weeks since the pixel was added to your store AND tracking parameters were complete) to start getting accurate attribution data from the pixel. Note that the pixel does not track conversions retroactively. For example, if you have installed the pixel on the 1st and configured each of your tracking parameters, you can only begin analyzing data from the pixel started on the 15th.

Take a look at the video below for a quick walkthrough of how to view this data.

Polar Attribution x Polar Pixel

The comprehensiveness of the Polar Pixel attribution results are heavily dependent on the tracking configuration of your different ad platforms. To ensure the best results, we’ve set up this document to walk you through the ideal setup for tracking parameters and how to correctly configure each of the ad platforms we support.

To track your ads, you must follow the associated process for each platform. Please note that this is not a requirement, however the Polar attribution model will only be able to attribute the campaigns that have been configured.

What Polar Attribution Tracks

The following is a comprehensive list of UTM parameters the Polar Attribution model requires:

  • For attribution:

    • campaign_id (ideal) : The id of the campaign

    • ad_id (ideal) : The id of the ad (specific to Facebook Ads)

    • utm_source (required) : The site source name (e.g. Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, etc.)

    • utm_campaign (required) : The exact name of the campaign (e.g. pmax direct, search FR broad, etc.)

    • utm_medium : The support of the ad (e.g. paid, ppc, etc.)

    • utm_term : Search keywords (e.g. purple longboard, large plant, etc.)

    • utm_content : Link differentiator for A/B testing

  • For conversion optimization:

    • gclid: Google Ads click id

    • fbclid: Facebook Ads click id

    • ttclid: TitTok Ads click id

    • msclkid: Bing Ads click id

    • ScCid: Snapchat Ads click id

Correctly configuring your ads tracking parameters is particularly important for matching campaigns, where ideally you would provide the ad and/or campaign id.

Alternatively, our algorithm also supports string matching using the name of a campaign. Below we provide a comprehensive list of what names & terms our algorithm is able to capture for each ad platform we support on Polar.

Here are some examples of campaign matching using strings (ad campaign name -> utm campaign):

  • pmax direct -> PMax Direct ✅

  • pmax direct -> PM ❌

  • FR search Broad -> fr search ✅

  • FR search Broad -> fr | fb | search | product sep ❌

Common Questions:

  • How long does it take the data to load after I've installed the Pixel?

    • Your attribution data will only start to come through the day following installation, and will then refresh hourly or daily depending on your plan.

  • What is the First Click Attribution Window?

    • The First Click Attribution Window filter is the total window of time for attribution before the purchase time. The default window is all time, meaning that unless this is adjusted, the true first click will be counted as the attribution (even if it happened a year prior to the purchase). You can adjust this within the filter if you'd like to see a shorter attribution window.

  • Will I be able to know where the first touch came from for past sales?

    • The model is not retroactive. We can tell where the first touch came from since the moment they installed the pixel, so any event before that is unknown to us.

  • Why use Polar Pixel over Google Analytics?

    • We pull first-party data with campaign, adset, and ad data from the most popular ad platform APIs. Further, we use server-side cookies and identity resolution to correctly attribute more conversions and unify users across websites and devices in a secure way. If a single user visits your site from Google search and then through a Facebook ad, we’ll track them in one cohesive customer journey.

  • How can I know the model is accurate?

    • You can set up the model and test the accuracy with a few test orders. If you'd like, we'd be happy to schedule a live session to review your model once you've set it up - feel free to reach out to us via the in-app live chat if this is something you're interested in.

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