Facebook Releases Cross-Device Conversion Reports

In case you missed it: recently, Facebook added a new Data Breakdown to their reporting functionality, called ‘Cross-Device’. This option can be found in the ‘Edit Columns’ section of the Reports tab, and will be an absolutely crucial report for advertisers looking to holistically measure the effect of mobile devices on their account’s performance.

Reports > Edit Columns > Data Breakdowns

Reports > Edit Columns > Data Breakdowns

The Cross-Device breakdown will segment your account, campaigns, or ads report by Impression Device and Placement, and then provide detailed information on the number of conversions that occurred after the impression, but on a potentially different device than where the ad was served to the user. For example, let’s say I have a campaign targeting users on mobile devices. A user logs into Facebook from their iPhone on the bus, and sees an ad for my product on the newsfeed that piques their interest. Later that day, the same (cookied) user remembers my ad, opens their browser on their home desktop computer, and completes the purchase from there. This conversion would then show up under Impression Device: iPhone, Placement: News Feed on Mobile Devices, and Action Device: Desktop in Reports.

Keep in mind that certain click types and actions are unavailable when Cross-Device reporting is enabled – several metrics like Page Likes and Video Views are simply not relevant to cross-device reporting, and won’t be available in this report view. Facebook also will not provide Cost per Action information across devices, since it is too difficult to parse which amount of spend led to which conversion on which device. The important actions they can track across devices are External Website Conversions and Mobile App Installs.

A sample Cross-Device report

A sample Cross-Device report

Here is a graphical representation of how one of our accounts looks when Website Conversions (purchases) are viewed across devices over a 30-day period. The X-axis represents the Impression Device – where the user saw the ad, and where you paid for it to be served. The Y-axis shows number of conversions on the left, and spend in dollars on the right. Conversions are segmented by Action Device – where the user actually went ahead and made the purchase or conversion. Spend is summed across all Action Devices, since Facebook does not attribute spend to individual cross-device conversions; your money is spent on the initial Impression, so spend rolls up to Impression Device.

We can see that over half of our ad spend ($18k) in this account goes toward serving ads on Android and iPhone mobile device newsfeeds, $12k is spent on newsfeed and right-rail ads on the Desktop, and a small percentage towards Tablets. What we find, however, is that while Desktop makes up roughly 33% of ad spend to reach users, in actuality over two-thirds of users are ultimately making their purchases on the desktop! Indeed, no matter where users saw the ad for our product, the majority of almost every cohort ended up buying on their computers – not their mobile devices.

Is our client’s mobile purchase funnel as smooth as it could be? Is our product offering compelling enough to dissuade users from window shopping elsewhere? What role do we want mobile to play in our overall Facebook strategy? These questions (and more) are fundamentally important to your business, and with cross-device reporting functionality, Facebook allows advertisers to inch one step closer to cracking the code on the ever-expanding multi-device landscape that exists in online advertising today.

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