Cross-Device Visitor Identification

Cross-device visitor identification helps you connect visitors across multiple devices.

This feature works by associating the visitor profiles across each device where a user is uniquely identified. After association, the visitor profile records are merged and visits from each device are considered to be from the same user. This feature allows campaigns from one device, such as a mobile device, to receive credit from conversion events made from another device, such as a desktop. This feature is commonly referred to as 'visitor stitching'.

Important: Cross-Device Visitor Identification fundamentally alters how Adobe Analytics identifies unique visitors and attributes success events. Read this section throughly to fully understand the impacts to determine if this functionality is right for your unique implementation and business requirements.

Benefits of Cross-Device Visitor Identification

  • A uniquely identified user is a single visitor profile across each device.
  • Attribute success events to first-touch channels cross-device and browsers.
  • Gain a more complete, unified view of your customers.

Limitations of Cross-Device Visitor Identification

  • Some data is not persisted across authentication from the unauthenticated profile to the authenticated, including:

    • eVars or campaign variables with an expiration set to 'Visit'.
    • eVars or campaign with longer expirations on a new authentication on a second, third, etc device.
    • In some cases marketing channel values, geo-segmentation, and technology reports are affected.
  • When initially implemented, Unique Visitor counts are inflated on a visit when authentication first occurs.
  • Longer term, Unique Visitor counts will be driven down as users are authenticated across devices.
  • Also longer term, Visits will be driven down to a small degree when an authenticated user switches devices within 30 minutes.

How Visitors are Counted without Cross-Device Visitor Identification

With the increasing number of devices used by the same visitor, it can be difficult to accurately gauge unique visitors and correctly attribute first-touch marketing channels. For example, a potential customer clicks a link in a marketing email and views your site for the first time:

This customer is considered a unique visitor and the first-touch email channel is incremented. The next day, this same customer visits your site from a laptop at his office:

Since the device is new, the customer is considered a unique visitor and the first-touch direct channel is incremented. A few days later, this same customer visits from a mobile device:

The customer is again treated as a unique visitor.