Is Google Analytics lying to you? How it got this fashion brand’s attribution wrong – and what it means for you

Could Google Analytics inadvertently be lying about where your sales REALLY come from? Find out how we uncovered the truth for a UK fashion giant.

One of the core principles of successful marketing is using accurate data to determine where your sales are coming from – and investing more of your budget on those activities.

But what if your data is lying to you?

According to Google Analytics, the greatest drivers of sales for one well-known high street fashion brand are affiliate and PPC search.

However, as we discovered last Christmas, this is far from the truth.

Google Analytics was wrongly attributing sales to search and PPC

The reality is that Google Analytics was naively giving affiliate and PPC search last click attribution for over 53% of the brand’s programmatic ROI orders. And it had attributed £122k of revenue that programmatic had notably impacted solely to organic search.

In total, thanks to the limitations of Google Analytics, their programmatic campaign was last click attributed just 2% of all conversions it impacted.

How do we know this?

To uncover the truth, we deterministically investigated Google CPC campaigns at order level, mapping a total of £214k CPC revenue that is impacted by programmatic.

And we discovered that search and paid search channels are notably impacted by the halo effect of programmatic campaigns. The conversions influenced by programmatic also had 28% higher average order values.

However, of £25m in Google Analytics in timeframe, programmatic was only attributed $16k of £699k impacted conversions. Search CPC took 31% of last click attribution from programmatic ROI orders.

So what does this mean for you?

Our findings in this example aren’t unique; we’ve seen this limited attribution happen across the board. Which means depending on Google Analytics data for attribution isn’t just risky – it could be encouraging you to spend money in the wrong areas and miss out on valuable sales.

If you’d like to learn more about Google Analytics’ faulty attribution model and how we can help, get in touch and book a chat with one of our experts.