What are the Attribution Models and What are They For?

Discover what attribution models are, what they are for and what types exist. You will not look at the conversion reports again with the same eyes.

Share Give it a Spin!
Follow by Email

Discover what attribution models are, what they are for and what types exist. You will not look at the conversion reports again with the same eyes.

What are the conversion routes?

But before entering into the definition, it is necessary to clarify another concept without which attribution models would not be understood.

This is what some analytics platforms have called the conversion path or route.

Direct conversion is not as frequent as you might imagine. The usual thing is that more than one channel is involved in the online purchase process.

That transit through the various channels before closing the transaction is the conversion route.

It is important to say that these routes have what is called a temporary conversion window, which usually goes from 30 to 90 days.

EXAMPLE: Suppose a user comes to your eCommerce through an organic Google result but does not buy. However, it is registered in your newsletter. A week you receive an email, click on the link and return to your page ... but still not buying. A couple of days later you see an ad for the remarketing campaign that you have active and finally buy. Here is the conversion path for that client.

What are attribution models?

Let’s go back to the example: in a case like that, to which channel do we grant the merit of the conversion?

  • The organic that captured it in the first instance?
  • To the email marketing that qualified the user?
  • To Adwords that closed the sale but did not capture the customer?
  • All equally?
  • Some more and others less?

Attribution models are used: to assign a specific value to each of the touchpoints or phases of the conversion path.

What are the attribution models for?

Everything related to the analysis of data for an eCommerce always has a basic function: the optimization of resources or money.

If we know the contribution to the sale made by each of the channels involved, we will be able to give it the strategic weight it requires.

In the example we are seeing, if we see a pattern that is repeated in a similar way, it might be interesting to try to focus our efforts on increasing the number of subscribers to our mailing lists.

Types of attribution models

Seen all that we have already commented, we would know the different attribution models and choose one that fits the reality of your online store.

We can distinguish 6 different models:

# 1 – Last interaction

The merit of the sale is simply granted to the last click. In our case, it would be the banner of the remarketing campaign.

# 2 – Last indirect click

All direct traffic is ignored in this attribution model.

Imagine that, after visiting the page via remarketing, our user does not buy, but he does it the next day by manually entering the URL of our page. If we use the last indirect click, we will continue to attribute the conversion to remarketing.

# 3 – First interaction

Even if the sale is closed in a different session and channel than the first, it is considered that all the merit corresponds to the one that captured the user in the first instance.

# 4 – Linear

Each of the channels involved is given a proportional share of the success. In our case it would be 33.3% for SEO, email marketing and Adwords remarketing.

# 5 – Decreasing model

Although it recognizes the value of all the actors involved, it does not do so proportionally. Assigns a higher value to the last channel before the sale and reduces the relevance among others depending on what moves away from the conversion.

In our example we could say that remarkting has 50%, email marketing 30% and SEO 20%.

# 6 – End or position model

Here they send the first and the last. The success between the two is shared proportionally.

We understand that SEO has done half of the work capturing and remarketing the other half closing the sale. That is, we ignore the work of qualification and maturation that email marketing would have done and any other interaction that could have occurred in the middle of the conversion route.


If you ask me which is the best attribution model, I will have to answer that there is not a single answer that works for all cases. It depends on the sector, the public and even the product.

The best thing is that you carefully study all the factors and then choose one. What I guarantee is that, if you implement it, you will have a better understanding of how and why things happen.

Do you find it interesting? Which one would you choose?