eVars & Props — Adobe’s Favourites
Every Adobe Analytics resource has definitely come across both the terms : eVars and Props , at least once in their lifetime. If they haven’t — they aren’t an Adobe resource.
Prop,eVar,events are Custom variables that Adobe Analytics provides, in order to perform an effective tracking.
eVars — These are conversion variables, used to store success events in to SiteCatalyst. Example: Conversions. Campaign conversions are measured with eVars
Props — S.Prop: Are used to count number of times certain metrics are sent to SiteCatalyst data tables. Metrics like Visits, Unique Visitors, Page views etc.
Events — Events or success events are the desired actions or goals that occur on your site, like filling up a form, or a web application
One of the major challenges that I have had to face is to comprehend what these definitions mean. While the language is pretty straightforward & easy to understand, one can only wonder how this is applicable in a real scenario while creating reports. Let me just try & explain this in a very simple way for anyone who has recently begun exploring Adobe Analytics.
The main difference between props/eVars and Events are that props and eVars are dimensions so they denote a category that a qualitative value can be assigned to. An example would be eVar40 — that may stand for ‘Product Type’ and the value assigned to it could be ‘Handset’.
Events are metrics and are therefore quantitative, for example a customer adding a product to a basket will be tracked using an ‘Add to cart’ event and therefore if 2 products are added to the basket then the value against this event will be 2.
Let’s try & understand this more clearly with some common questions that crosses our mind while working on eVars & Props
How are they Same?
Both props and eVars capture the dimensional values in a report — think of the values as the rows of the report. They output the description of what occurred on the site. Often Props and eVars can capture the same piece of data at the same time, but they each have different use cases for reporting.
What’s the difference?
- A Prop measures how a user navigates through the website, which is why it is known as a traffic variable. For example, which site sections were visited and in what order. The key takeaway is that a Prop does not persist, meaning once you set the Prop, Adobe does not keep track of it to connect to future events.
- An eVar is used for conversion. It is used in conjunction with Conversion Events as your metric. For example, how many downloads or orders occurred from visitors who came from email. The key takeaway is an eVar persists with the visitor and Conversion Events can be attributed to that eVar. An eVar can be remembered for a page view, a visit, weeks, or even expire after a specific Conversion Event such as a purchase or login, as and how it has been implemented by your company
Let’s take an example to see how Props work while creating reports.
What if you want to see if one prop variable influenced a conversion? You can create a segment like such to work around the prop limitations.
VISIT = Container (HIT = Page contains “home page”) AND Container (HIT = Page contains “order confirmation”)
In that session, a user hit the home page at one point, and also hit the order confirmation at another point. By separating the HIT’s in different containers, they are identified as two different actions. However, they are all contained within one visit. Because props fire every time, you can use props towards pathing of page behavior.
Now let us look at how eVars are used in real reports.
eVars are conversion variables linked to success events, so they persist the entire session without having to fire multiple times. As long as they are fired once, it gets attributed to other success events to the same cookie.
One widely used example is when a user logs in, the eVar fires once at initial sign in and will “follow” the cookie wherever it goes. In Adobe Analytics, you can use conversion metrics like Orders or transactions . It will give a unique count based on if the eVar fired within the same session as the order automatically. No need for a custom Visit segment like above.
Hopefully, with the examples given above, the definitions may have been a little more clearer. The basics of Adobe demands understanding of these variables. They not only assist in better implementation and reporting, but also helps us understand the site and user behaviour better. Plenty of Adobe Blogs are there to help us understand these concepts with more examples.
And for everything else… there’s Adobe Help Home! :) Always !