Re: UTM tags attribution

How does UTM tag attribution affect sales reports?

6 0 1

I am wondering how the UTM tags are attribution to sales in the sales report, which is when you select the UTM source in the sales over time report. 


For example, suppose I have UTM tags T1 and T2. There are two conversion paths below:


direct -> T1 -> ....(interactions without UTM tags) -> direct -> purchase. (Will this sale appears with T1?)

direct -> T1 ->..... -> T2 -> direct -> purchase (will this sale appears with T2 or T1?)


I am asking this because in the Google Ads backend, I have about 40% more sales than shown in the Shopify sale reports and I have tagged all my campaigns with proper UTM tags.


From what I read on the Shopify website, it seems like they will credit the last interaction for the sale. Then both the sales above will be credited to "direct"? what do the UTM tags mean in the Sale-Over-time report? Should I simply not use the sale report from Shopify to evaluate ads such as Google, FB? 


And if Shopify uses last interaction to credit the sale to, I suppose the last-click attribution model in Google ads should have similar data as Shopify but actually, it doesn't. It varies about 5% compared to the position-based model and still way over the sale report from Shopify. 



Replies 2 (2)

Shopify Partner
52 0 5

Hi Violka,


Shopify has a great page explaining the workings of different attribution models and comparing how different services are using them. For example Google Ads has an attribution window of 30 days and it always attribute to last non-direct interaction in that window (and so does Google Analytics, citing: "it will give credit to the last touchpoint in a conversion journey unless it was a direct visit to your site. In that case, it will give credit to the last non-direct touchpoint." ). Shopify on the other hand attributes, as you correctly said, to "direct" if that was the source of the session where the conversion took place. Here is the resource:

We at Dhatma implemented our own web tracking and combining data from our tracker and what Shopify offers through API's we are trying to give a greatly enhanced visibility to all this.


Happy selling!

3 0 1

Hi Violka,

The attribution source depends on your attribution model.

Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 12.42.09 PM.png

For example, if you choose the last click is your attribution model, then the first scenario

direct -> T1 -> ....(interactions without UTM tags) -> direct -> purchase. (Will this sale appears with T1?)

T1 will be attributed in the report; the second scenario

direct -> T1 ->..... -> T2 -> direct -> purchase (will this sale appears with T2 or T1?)

T2 will be attributed.


I think the Google ads report is 40% more sales than Shopify sales also because of attribution.

Sometimes if you add the 'check out' or 'add to cart' to conversion, you may meet this situation.


Hope my answer can help you.