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Managing Custom Dimensions in VWO

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Custom Dimensions are attributes you can define for your website visitors to help you categorize and differentiate them. The attributes you can define for visitors can be geographical locations, browsers, devices, traffic source, and others. For example, a SaaS application needs to categorize users, based on subscription plans users have opted; free, lite, or pro, or an eCommerce that wants to differentiate users based on their purchase history.

Using Custom Dimensions, you can identify visitors with attributes most relevant to your business needs. You can also use these attributes to slice and dice your reports data to gain deeper insights. For example, you can view visitor recordings of a specific set of visitors to understand visitor patterns and how they use the website or to compare conversion behaviors between different sets of website visitors. At present, custom dimension is not supported for all VWO features and will gradually roll it out for both research and testing layers.

Types of Custom Dimensions

You can define Custom Dimensions, both at the user and session levels in VWO.

  1. Session Level: When the attribute is activated, data is collected only for the currently running session. You can set a session-level Custom Dimension to record data temporarily, only for a session. The last value gets precedence in the session. For example, you may want to categorize users based on the difficulty levels in a game—easy, medium, or hard. The following are some use-cases for session-level custom dimensions:
    • To compare conversion rate for Add to Cart button goal for users who participated in a promotional campaign.
    • To find drop-off of users who did not upgrade when encountered a locked feature. A user while using an application encounters an advanced feature which requires plan upgrade.
    • A session-level dimension is set at this time and we track his/her purchase journey for this particular session via a funnel.
    • Viewing heatmaps for only logged-in users.
    • Viewing recordings of users who were presented temporary discount along with the product price.
    • See the form analytics behavior of guest users vs members.
    • Survey responses of users who just subscribed to the newsletter.
  2. User level: When the attribute is activated, data is collected throughout visitor journey. For Custom Dimensions defined at the user level, VWO tracks visitor data for all visits and sessions on the website. A user-level Custom Dimension is set up where the attribute is less likely to change. For example, the subscription plan of the user.
    • Compare conversion rate for Add to Cart button goal for logged-in vs guest users.
    • Funnel performance of users who are on a plan.
    • Viewing heatmaps only for male users.
    • Viewing recordings for specific visitor IDs
    • Survey responses for students vs teachers
    • Personalization for users who contacted support.

How to Create Custom Dimensions by Using VWO?

  1. To create Custom Dimensions for VWO, click the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of your VWO dashboard.
  2. Under Accounts, select the Custom Dimension tab.
  3. Click Add Custom Dimensions, and then type a name for Custom Dimensions. For example, we are using ‘User Plan’ as an attribute in our example.
  4. Type the key for Custom Dimensions. For example, ‘Plan’ is our key to pass in the code.
  5. From the Scope drop-down list, select the type of custom dimension—User or Session.
  6. Click Save. VWO will provide you a code snippet that you need to add to the pages for pushing the Custom Dimension value.
    window.VWO = window.VWO || [];
    // Replace TAG_VALUE with your actual tag value
    window.VWO.push(['tag', 'Plan', 'TAG_VALUE', 'session']);

    Where, CookieValue is the Custom Dimension Key and TAG_VALUE is the name.
  7. You can also modify the code per your requirement. In the following code example, we are pushing the value of test cookie directly from the page.
    window.VWO = window.VWO || [];
    window.VWO.push(['tag', 'Plan', _vis_opt_readCookie('growth'), 'session']);
  8. To push attributes for an event such as clicks, modify the code snippet to push the Custom Dimension value on every click of the sign-up button.
    $('.signup').on('click', function () {
    window.VWO = window.VWO || [];
    window.VWO.push(['tag', 'Plan', _vis_opt_readCookie('growth'), 'session']);

Filtering Reports, based on Custom Dimensions

You can use the Custom Dimension to filter visitor reports, based on the cookie value you push. To filter reports, go to the report section, click All Visitors and select Custom to add a post-segmentation filter for Custom Dimension. Select Custom Dimension from the drop-down list. Say, we are filtering visitors whose test cookie value is VWO. (In our example, we have pushed the test cookie value in Custom Dimension, by using the above code snippet).

To view the filtered report, click Apply.

Best Practices for Sharing Personal Data with VWO using Custom Dimensions

To protect user privacy, VWO policy does not recommend sharing any Personally Identifiable Data (PII) with VWO. PII includes information such as phone number, email addresses, social security numbers, etc.

However, in situations where it is mandatory to share such data with VWO using Custom Dimensions, you must use proper encryption level for the data. VWO strongly recommends the use of a salt with minimum hashing requirement of SHA256, with a minimum of 8 characters.

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