An introduction to Multi Channel Funnels in Google Analytics

This week saw the announcement of a long awaited feature in Google Analytics called multi-channel funnels.

Only a few weeks ago a new version of Google Analytics was launched (you may already have access to this now), however this latest feature could potentially change the way we use the tool from now on.

What are they?

Multi channel funnels are in essence a sales attribution tool, allowing you to see the whole conversion path from your website visitors up to 30 days prior to the conversion. The path will show the interaction between all of your media channels, so you can see which traffic sources and keywords initiate, assist and complete conversions.

Up until now, the ad or channel that was last clicked on will be assigned the conversion in Analytics. In reality though, there will have probably been a number of different channels and interactions which contributed to the conversion. Multi channel funnels will allow you to see the whole journey a user takes before committing to a purchase, therefore allowing you to look beyond the “last click”.

A number of reports will be available within this feature, including top conversion paths, assisted conversions and time lag. I’ll briefly explain each of these below.

Top conversion paths

This report will give you an overview of the conversion paths which lead to the most conversions or highest revenue, and you can filter by traffic source and keyword:

You can also group specific channels together and define a set of customisable labels to channels, i.e. brand searches, social media or referral traffic:

Assisted conversions

This report summarises the contributions of all the different channels. You will be able to see first interaction conversions, last interaction conversions and assisted conversions, all of which can be filtered by traffic source and/or keyword:

This kind of insight can be extremely useful, as you may find that specific channels are a lot more profitable than you first thought i.e. if they have more assisted conversions than last click conversions.

Path length

Another report available is path length, which shows the number of interactions which take place prior to a conversion:

The example above shows that there is more than one interaction for 30% of total conversions, in which case you will want to delve into the other reports to find out what these other interactions are.


We have been using DC Storm on a number of our clients for a while now which covers all of this functionality and more, however this latest announcement from Google is certainly a statement of intent understanding the need for brands to  better understand the sales journey in an increasingly complex online and multi-channel environment, and attribute sales accordingly.

No longer can you assume that your customers only interact with one channel during their decision making and purchase process. Therefore, being able to see the interactions between all of the channels has become an essential tool in attributing sales and measuring ROI.

Please note that multi channel funnels are currently in limited pilot, which means that Google is testing the feature before they decide to launch it fully. However, you can sign up to activate them in your Google Analytics here. Let us know what you think…

Leave a reply

What do you think? Please leave a comment below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *