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Cross Device capabilities in Google Analytics: What it’s all about

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Google announced the new Cross Device features to Google Analytics on July 11, which helps website owners/marketing professionals understand how their audience is using different devices to interact with their websites.

This will help anyone promoting their website to get a complete picture of the impact of their campaigns and help them make a smart decision with future campaigns, maximising impact.

So say if a single person is visiting your website multiple times in a day from different devices, then Cross-Device feature will show a single session for that user — for both mobile and desktop — instead of the two separate sessions like before. This will help shape the marketing campaign as it gives you a deeper insight into the user’s behaviour pattern.

Also read: How to control your Android smartphone via PC

How does Cross-Device feature work?

“Cross-Device reporting in Analytics takes into account people who visit your website multiple times from different devices. With the new Acquisition Device report, you may find that a lot of your customers first come to your website on mobile to do their initial research before booking a trip later on desktop. Based on that insight, you might choose to prioritise mobile ad campaigns to reach people as they start to play their trip,” writes Jesse Savage, Director, Product Management, Google Analytics.

In addition to Acquisition Device report, Google will soon also be launching other Cross Device reports like Device Overlap, Device Paths and Channels, in the coming months.

According to the company, these Cross Device reports only display ‘aggregated and anonymized data’ from people who have opted in to personalised advertising and users have the option to opt out too. You can opt out here.

For business owners, these analytics can prove to be a useful tool in delivering a more relevant and personal experience to the customers.

“Let’s say you’re a shoe retailer and you want to share a special promotion with your most loyal customers. You decide this means people who have purchased more than $500 in shoes on your website in the last 12 months using any of their devices. If a group of customers buy $300 worth of shoes on their phone and another $300 on their desktop, they’re just as valuable as another group who spend $600 on a single device, right?” writes Savage.

So the new Cross Device feature understands these two customers spent the same amount will help in creating accurate audience list so that you reach the right customers and maximise your sale potential.

In addition to the amount spent, you can also make campaigns depending on how many times a user visits your website.

How to Activate Cross-Device feature?

To use the Cross-Device features, go to the Admin section of your Analytics account and choose to ‘activate Google Signals’.

Cross Device capabilities in Google Analytics: What it's all about

In case you don’t see this setting, don’t worry as Google will be rolling them out to all Analytics accounts over the coming weeks. You don’t need to make any changes to the website code so no need to contact your developer.

Also read: Is Chrome becoming a surveillance software for Google?

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: