Played Software are the creators of an activity finder app. With their database of activities covering the whole of UK, their clients offer local communities an opportunity to find activities near them and book online. Their clients include names like Change 4 life and Lucozade.
There were a number of challenges associated with tracking interactions using Google Analytics.
The activity finder is built as a web application. Because of the technology used, when the user interacts with the software, the URL doesn't change. To Google Analytics this means that every visit is shown as a single-page, bounced session - even if the person used the browsing tools and ended up booking the activity.
Before Played Software contacted us, some of the tracking was already set up by another web analyst. Unfortunately, the interactions were all logged as events and most used "DOM scraping" to collect details of what the user clicked. This approach refers to capturing information displayed on the page based on where it is placed on the page. While sometimes it is useful to complement data collection, the DOM scraping technique is prone to errors and often results in wrong information being passed.
Because of this existing data strategy, interactions were not connected to one another and they were not helpful for building a full picture of the user journey. And because of over-reliance on DOM scraping, some of the data pushed was jumbled and incoherent.
Played Software needed a major rethinking of the entire structure of how data pieces should fit together. This was crucial for making sense of customer journeys and visualising them in reports.
When we started working on tracking these apps we knew that we would have to use a combination of data logging techniques:
We listed all possible interactions and determined whether they should be passed to Google Analytics as a virtual page view, a custom dimension or an event. It's important to define each action correctly as this would determine how a visualisation report can be built later on.
Once the strategy was defined, some missing information had to be added to the app and the best way to do it was using data layer pushes. We defined the code that was needed, so that the Played Software developer could implement it in the app.
We could then implement all the custom tracking and start collecting data. And because all pieces fit well together, visualising the user attributes and funnels with Data Studio was straight-forward.
As a result, Played Software could offer each of their clients a custom-branded dashboard that showed them who visited their finder, which activities they browsed and which ones they booked.
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