In March 2021 we wrote a blog post that looked at view-through conversions versus click-through conversions for a basket of US-based brands. Much has changed since then including:
In that post, our conclusion was as follows:
If view-through conversions are at 40%+ of default conversions you ought to run an incrementality test ASAP.
The basic idea here is that when view-through conversions account for a significant percentage of attributed conversions there is probably a lot of waste. In those cases, one really ought to do some form of incrementality testing (perhaps using a third-party tool like Measured/Rockerbox/INCRMNTAL/Northbeam, etc. or perhaps in a DIY, geographic test form).
Now that attribution has changed on FB I wanted to re-run these numbers so that I had an updated benchmark. For our analysis, we looked at 70, US-focused ad accounts which we loosely categorized as eCommerce (we included some telemedicine brands herein). These accounts spent roughly $12m in total in a 30-day period.
Just like in our first post, I calculated the percentage of attributed purchases using the default attribution window (7-day click + 1-day view) that were attributed as 1-day view-through conversions. This is what that data looks like in aggregate:
On average, 34% of conversions were attributed to the 1-day view window. That feels about right to me.
We did have a number of accounts with significantly higher %s:
Obviously, any one of these brands above that is making decisions based solely on Facebook's default attribution window is probably in for a rude awakening when they run an incrementality test. I've found this is especially true for Stories/Reels/Snap/TikTok formats which drive up view counts tremendously due to their fundamental nature (ie lots of swiping/posts + minimal engagement per post but often >3 seconds and thus counted as a view).
PS: I don't mean to suggest that view-through conversions are implicitly bad or not accretive. In many instances, we've seen view-through conversions be very much validated by incrementality testing.
In my experience, a handful of ad creatives will usually swallow the vast majority of spend in FB ad accounts simply due to their outstanding performance. And those winners often survive months (and sometimes even years) of testing/new challenger creatives.
It’s no secret that paid performance marketing on Facebook and most other social platforms is as challenging as ever (and the stock prices for these companies certainly reflect that).