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Welcome to the help center for DoubleClick Search, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the DoubleClick Search product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Report on purchase details

About purchase detail reports

Use DS to see which products in your inventory drive sales

When you use Floodlight activities to track sales on your site, at a minimum DoubleClick Search (DS) reports display the total value of your sales and the total advertising cost. While this level of reporting shows the impact of advertising on total revenue, it doesn't provide insight into which products in your inventory are driving sales. Likewise, while you can advertise products in many formats, basic reports do not show which of your ads actually lead to the sales of those products.

If you have a Merchant Center feed connected to your account, you can set up your Floodlight transaction tags to provide DS with the data it needs to report on revenue, cost, and profit for individual products in your inventory feed. DS reports can also show which campaigns (including keyword and Shopping campaigns), ad groups, and keywords contributed to the sales of those products.

Once you're able to report on the sales, cost, and revenue for specific products, you can:

  • Look for opportunities to cross-sell.
    If you see products that are selling well, you can adjust ad copy to cross-sell compatible products. Conversely, if you need to sell specific products, you can find compatible products that are selling well and suggest a cross-sell in the ad. For example, instead of ad copy that says “Nice shirts,” you could write “Nice shirts and ties.”

  • Refine campaign structure to more precisely bid and track
    By seeing which campaigns contribute to sales of products, you can discover which type of campaign (Shopping campaign with Shopping ads or inventory keyword campaign with text ads) is best at driving sales of a particular product. You can also add negative keywords and product group exclusions to specific campaigns to tune the marketing funnel.

  • Provide general information about the health of advertising
    You can use use sales or other metrics of specific products to gauge the overall health of your marketing efforts. A significant deviation could provide a clue that something needs attention, such as errors on your site.

If you include profit data in your feed, you can set bids so that the CPA is less than or equal to the average profit per transaction. You can also see which products or product categories are not selling as well as you expect, and improve product descriptions and ad copy, add more keywords, or increase bids for more visibility.

For example

Here's a typical page on a web site that acknowledges a purchase:
Example of a thank you page.

Before adding purchase details

Here's a basic Floodlight transaction tag on the thank-you page that records transactions on the site:
<iframe height="0" width="0" src="http://0.fls.doubleclick.net/activityi;src=0;type=fake_tag;cat=fake_tag;u=4771963;qty=3;cost=129.97;ord=4771963;~oref=http%3A//mysite.com/checkout?" style="display: none; visibility: hidden;"></iframe>

When this tag sends data to its associated Floodlight activity, DS increments the Revenue column by $129.97. You can then navigate to an ad group and segment the reporting table by Floodlight activity. The reporting table displays the total revenue the Floodlight activity has recorded for each ad group, along with the total number of transactions and advertising cost.

Ad group Floodlight activity group Floodlight activity Trans Cost Revenue
T-Shirts Sales Confirmation Thank you page 613 308.79 $1,115.00
Shoes Sales Confirmation Thank you page 393 150.33 $985.72

This basic level of reporting tells you the total revenue in a transaction, but doesn't give any insight into which products were purchased, and how much revenue is being generated by specific products in your inventory.

Adding purchase details

Here's a Floodlight transaction tag with an additional attribute for reporting purchase details:
<iframe height="0" width="0" src="http://0.fls.doubleclick.net/activityi;src=0;type=fake_tag;cat=fake_tag;u=4771963;qty=3;cost=129.97;ord=4771963;prd=i1:m-dress-orange-xl|p1:54.99|q1:2|i2:m-polo-green-l|p2:19.99|q2:1;~oref=http%3A//mysite.com/checkout?" style="display: none; visibility: hidden;"></iframe>

When this tag sends data to its associated Floodlight activity, DS still reports on total revenue, cost, and total transactions as before. However, additional reporting columns in DS display the total units sold for each product, the revenue for each product, and—if you've enabled your Merchant Center account to report profit—the profit and profit margin for each product.

Product ID Units sold Revenue from units sold Gross profit from units sold Average unit price Gross profit margin
m-dress-orange-xl 2 109.98 90.00 54.99 81%
m-polo-green-l 1 19.99 8 19.99 40%

View metrics across campaigns and by product category

Once you set up purchase detail reporting, you can see how specific products perform across all types of retail campaigns, such as keyword campaigns and Shopping campaigns. For example, if the same product appears in a keyword campaign and a Shopping campaign, you can see how many sales and how much revenue comes from each campaign.

In addition to viewing metrics for specific products, you can also organize metrics by the product category, type, or brand attributes that you have specified in your Merchant Center feed. For example, if you assign products in your Merchant Center feed to the Cameras, Binoculars, and Telescopes categories, you can view and compare the performance of each category.

Historical values versus current values

The revenue and cost data in DS reflect the values at the time that the Floodlight tag reports the sale. If you change the price or cost of a product later, DS does not retroactively apply the new values to previous sales.

For example:

  1. Your Floodlight tag reports the sale of a shirt for $19.99, and your Merchant Center feed specifies a cost of $11 for each shirt.
    The Gross profit from units sold column reports a gross profit of $8.99.

  2. Later, you update your Merchant Center feed to specify a cost of $10 for each shirt.

  3. Your Floodlight tag reports the sale of another shirt for $19.99. Because your Merchant Center feed now specifies a cost of $10, the gross profit for this sale is $9.99.

  4. The Gross profit from units sold column adds the profit of $8.99 from the previous sale to the $9.99 profit from the current sale and reports $18.98.

Use purchase details with other DS features

You can use purchase details with the following DS features:

  • Formula columns:  A formula column is a column you create to apply spreadsheet-like functions to data from existing DS columns. You can add any of the purchase detail columns to a formula column and then perform adjustments on the data. For example, to view the daily average profit, you can create this formula:
    Gross profit from units sold / Num_days()

  •  Automated rules: You can use any of the purchase detail columns in automated rules. For example, you can add a rule to a keyword report that increases bids for any keyword that generates more than X dollars in cross-sell revenue.

Bid strategies do not use data from purchase detail reports to optimize bids.

Purchase details with Floodlight compared with Google Analytics

While Google Analytics Ecommerce tracking can also report the quantity and revenue of specific products that have been purchased on your site, DS reports do not include the purchase details from Google Analytics.

DS only displays purchase details that have been recorded by Floodlight tags that include purchase details.

Technical detail: If you use Google Tag Manager to manage your Floodlight tags, you can make purchase details available to your Floodlight tag by pushing the data to the Google Tag Manager data layer. 

When you push purchase details to the data layer, you'll actually be storing the data in the same JSON object that Google Analytics can use to report the products that have been purchased on your site. That is, if you're using both DS and Google Analytics to report purchase details, your web developer can use the same JSON object to store the data for both products.

Next steps

Before you start, set up your campaigns:

  1. Link your Merchant Center account to DS.
  2. Create a manual campaign, inventory keyword campaign or Shopping campaign.

Once you set up your campaigns, you can:

  1. Set up Floodlight tags for purchase detail reporting.
  2. Optionally enable your Merchant Center account to report on profit.
  3. View reports on purchased products.
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