Varos Glossary

Last-Click Attribution

Modern marketing is an incredibly complex beast. Customers may engage with a brand across multiple sales channels and at multiple touchpoints with seemingly little rhyme or reason between them. The distributed nature of these interactions makes it an often herculean task to identify which specific touchpoint or asset ultimately led to a sale 

Unfortunately, there's really no simple answer to this quandary — it ultimately all boils down to attribution. 

What is the Last Interaction Attribution Model? 

Caption: It can be difficult to know the specific revenue drivers of your business without the right attribution model

Also known as last-click attribution, last interaction attribution credits a conversion to whichever touchpoint a customer engaged with immediately prior to converting. This could be anything from a marketing email to a paid advertising placement. Last-click attribution represents one of six different attribution models. 

First Touch vs. Last Touch Attribution

First-click attribution, as the name suggests, stands at the opposite end of the spectrum from last-click attribution. It gives all the credit to the first touchpoint a customer interacted with. For example, imagine a customer engages with a brand by clicking a Google PPC ad, a Facebook ad, and a marketing email. 

Under first-click attribution, the PPC ad would be given credit for the conversion, while last-click attribution would give all the credit to the marketing email. 

Pros and Cons of the Last Click Attribution Model

While last-click attribution is a great deal simpler than many other models and makes it easy to identify the final 'step' in a buyer's journey, it is not without its flaws. For one, it completely overlooks the full buyer journey in favor of focusing exclusively on the journey's end.  This can in turn cause a company to misallocate their advertising spend — it may put all its budget into a PPC ad without realizing that its initial marketing email was the only reason anyone clicked on the ad in the first place. 

Other Types of Attribution

In addition to first click and last click attribution, the major attribution models include: 

  • Last Non-Direct Click. Similar to last click, with one important caveat — it completely excludes paid advertisements. Instead, it focuses on the last interaction a user had with your eCommerce brand that didn't take place through a paid ad. 
  • Linear Attribution. The linear attribution model assigns credit for conversions equally across every engagement a user had with your brand. While this can help you visualize the full customer journey, it also doesn't consider the fact that even if a user interacted with your brand at multiple touchpoints, it may have only been one that ultimately caused them to convert. 
  • Time-Decay Attribution. This is essentially a slightly more complex version of linear attribution, as it weighs each touchpoint differently based on its proximity to a customer's conversion. Although somewhat complicated compared to other models, this allows a business to both visualize the customer journey and identify which channels were most likely responsible for a sale. 
  • Position-Based Attribution. A position-based attribution model focuses on a customer's position within your sales funnel, and uses that to assign credit. This allows you to gain a better idea of which channels are best-suited to convert customers who have already engaged with you at least once. 
  • Algorithmic Attribution. A relatively recent development, algorithmic attribution leverages machine learning to create a specialized model tailored to your business. It's one of the most accurate attribution models, but also has one of the steepest learning curves. 

Which Attribution Model Should You Use? 

Caption: Whatever attribution model you choose,Varos makes it easier to filter, assess, and contextualize your ad spend. 

As is often the case in eCommerce marketing, there's really no right answer or one-size-fits-all approach. While algorithmic attribution is generally superior to most other models in terms of accuracy, it requires considerable analytics skill to properly implement. So with that in mind, your best bet is to choose an attribution model based on your niche, expertise, advertising goals, and the size of your business.