Cross Device Reports in Google Analytics

This article is related to cross device tracking and measurement in Google Analytics.

If you are brand new to cross device measurement, then I would suggest to read this article first: Guide to Cross device tracking with User Id in Google Analytics

Once you have setup User ID in your Google Analytics property, you can then access cross device reports via the User ID view.

Through cross device reports you can get a better understanding of how users engage and convert on your website across different devices and over the course of multiple sessions.

Note (1):  The Cross device reports are available only in user id views.

Note (2): Cross device reports are not available for date ranges longer than 90 days.

Types of Cross Device Reports

There are three types of cross device reports available in Google Analytics:

  1. Device Overlap report
  2. Device Paths report
  3. Acquisition Device report

#1 Device Overlap Report

device overlap report

#1 The device overlap report uses a venn diagram to visualize the percentage of users who uses one or multiple devices. This diagram can’t display more than 3 device categories (like (desktop, mobile and tablet) at a time.

#2  You can apply advanced segments (both default and custom) to this report for deeper analysis. Each advanced segment appear as a separate venn diagram which makes data visualization much better.

#3 Through this report you can:

1. Determine the device or combination of devices (desktop, mobile and tablet) used by your users to engage with your website.

2. Segment users by device type and compare revenue and user transaction rate .

Note: User transaction rate is the number of users who made a transaction divided by total number of users.

So if users who use both desktop and mobile devices are converting more than the users who use only desktop and the users who only use mobile devices then it is wise to advertise/optimize on both mobile and desktop devices and not give preference to any one device.

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#2 Device Paths Report

device paths report

A device path is the order in which users used different devices (desktop, mobile, Tablet) to engage with your website and to convert.

By default the ‘Device Path’ report shows the last 5 device interactions with at least 1 transition (a transition is a switch from one device to another, not to be confused with the similar word ‘transaction’), under the column ‘Steps in path’:

device paths

The device path in the first row shows transition from one desktop device to another desktop device. Since Laptops are included in the Desktop device category, there is a possibility that some users switched from a desktop device to a laptop or vice versa.

The device path in the second row shows transition from desktop device to a mobile device and then back to a desktop device.

The device path in the third row shows transition from a tablet device to another tablet device.

That’s how you can read this report.

 

The concept of device path is quite similar to the concept of ‘Conversion Paths’ in multi channel funnel reports. So if you understand conversion paths, it will be easy for you to understand the concept of device paths.

You can see up to last 50 device interactions (with at least one transition) in ‘Device Path’ report. To do this follow the steps below:

Step-1:
path optionsClick on the ‘Path Options’ link in the ‘Device Path Report.

device path path options

Click on the drop down menu under the text ‘Minimum steps to show in a path’ , select 50 and then click on the ‘Apply’ button.

Step-3:

adjust the path options

Through ‘Path options’ settings, you can also look at the device paths before and after:

  1. Any Goal completion.
  2. Any transaction
  3. Event Action
  4. Event Category
  5. Event Label
  6. Page Path

To look at the device paths before/after, click on either the ‘Show steps before…‘ link or ‘Show steps after…‘ link from the drop menu and then select the action (like ‘Any goal completion’, ‘Any transaction’ etc) from the second drop down menu.

 

#3 Acquisition Device Report

acquisition device report

Through ‘Acquisition Device’ report you can determine whether a user converted on the originating device or on some other device.

originating device

When the first time a user is assigned a user id, the very first device (desktop, tablet or mobile) he used to interact with your website is known as the ‘Originating device’.

The originating device is also known as the Acquisition Device as this is the device through which you first acquired a user.

The ‘Acquisition Device’ report has got two columns/metrics which are worth explaining:

  1. Revenue from other devices
  2. Revenue from originating device

If people are visiting your website for the first time via display ads on desktop and also making their purchase via the desktop then through ‘Revenue from originating device’ column of the  ‘Acquisition Device’ report, you know that your desktop advertising dollars are working for your business.

On the other hand, if people are visiting your website for the first time via PPC ads on smart phones but returning to the website via desktop to convert then through ‘Revenue from other devices’ column of the ‘Acquisition Device’ report, you know that your mobile advertising dollars have not gone to waste.

 

User id coverage report

user id coverage report

Through user id coverage report, you can determine the percentage of sessions that include activity from logged in users (provided your authentication system is login).

Logged in users behave differently than non-logged in users and you can create separate marketing campaigns to retarget them, to cross sell or upsell them.

This report shows the ‘user id’ status which can be:

Assigned – the number / percentage of sessions in which users were assigned a user id.

Unassigned – the number / percentage of sessions in which users weren’t assigned a user id.

Strangely you can’t access the ‘user id coverage’ report through ‘user id’ view. To view this report you need to access a non-user id view within the user-id enabled property.

Follow the steps below to access the ‘user id coverage’ report:

Step-1: Access any non-user id view within the user-id enabled property.

Step-2: Go to Audience > Behavior > User ID coverage

user id coverage location

Note: use the user id coverage report in conjunction with user id view reports.

Learn about the Google Analytics Usage Trends Tool

The Google Analytics usage trend is a new tool which is used to visualise trends in your Google Analytics data and to perform trend analysis.


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Himanshu Sharma

Certified web analyst and founder of OptimizeSmart.com

My name is Himanshu Sharma and I help businesses find and fix their Google Analytics and conversion issues. If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

  • Over eleven years' experience in SEO, PPC and web analytics
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