Introduction to Tracking

  • Updated

Tracking provides Distil with a real-time stream of detailed information about Customer interactions with your platforms, such as which pages they visit, which products they view and purchase.  

Tracking Customer behaviour in e-commerce is crucial for personalization, targeted marketing, product development, conversion rate optimization, customer retention, and data-driven decision making. By leveraging customer insights, you can enhance the overall customer experience, increase sales, and gain a competitive edge.

Tracking is also key for many of the machine learning enrichments built into Distil. Tracking information about the products that a Customer views is a cornerstone of the Distil recommendation engine. Tracking helps you understand which Customers are engaged, and which are are in danger of losing interest and churning. Tracking is also critical part of Marketing Attribution: helping you understand which marketing channels are contributing most to your business objectives. 

In addition to the insights in Distil, Tracking data can be easily pushed from Distil into other platforms via Destinations.

How It Works

A small piece of JavaScript code is placed on your website or in your app. This code snippet sends information to Distil whenever a visitor or user performs one of the actions that you wish to track (more on this later).

This code sends JSON data packets to Distil. These packets contain information about your Customers, Products, Purchase History and what Content your visitors are viewing, along with Tracking of any Events that you have set up. For a more detailed description, read our article on setting up Distil Tracking Code.

Gaining full value from Tracking insights relies on identifying a visitor to your website, app or store as a specific Customer: tracking their behaviour in the period leading up to purchase. Distil is constantly working in the background to identify your Customers. While this is largely automatic, you can improve this process - read more in our article on Identifying Customers.

Distil Tracking doesn't use cookies. We use local storage in a user's browser to store tokens. You can read more about this in our article on Identifying Customers.  

Options for Setting Up Tracking

All Distil Tracking uses the JavaScript code described in Distil Tracking Code. So you can implement Distil Tracking wherever you use JavaScript: whether this is on a website or in an app.

There are several options for getting Distil Tracking set up on your website or app:

  1. Via the Distil Shopify app, Wednesday Daily Insights card - this will add Distil Tracking Code to your Shopify store.
  2. Using Google Tag Manager (GTM) - this may be your preferred option if you use Google Analytics.
  3. Adding the JavaScript Distil Tracking Code to your website or app.

If you've downloaded and installed our Shopify app, then the great news is that this setup is straightforward and doesn't require any specific technical skills. On the Wednesday after you have installed the Distil Shopify app, you will be prompted on the Wednesday Daily Insights card to install Tracking. We have an article dedicated to setting up Shopify Tracking.

If you're not using our Shopify app, then setting up Distil Tracking will require some technical knowledge. However all the information you need is available in the series of articles linked in the list above.

After Tracking is set up, you will see Tracking as a Data Source tab in the Data Panel, within the Customer Data Studio.

Types of Tracked Events

You can find more detail on the code behind these events in our article on Distil Tracking Code.


When someone visits your store or app, their anonymous browsing history is captured by Distil. When this visitor identifies themselves explicitly, by either logging in or filling in a form with personal details, Distil links all their previous history as an anonymous visitor to the new identity, and makes this data available within Distil.

Read more about this in our article on Tracking: Identifying Customers.

Product Viewed

Whenever a visitor views a specific product on your website, Distil captures Tracking data for both the visitor and the product being viewed.

Purchase Made

You've made a sale! Distil captures a range of information about the order and also the Customer who made the purchase.

Content Viewed

By tracking the content that your Customers read, you can gain insights into the types of information, articles, blog posts, product descriptions, or guides that resonate with your target audience and drive engagement.

Event Tracking

In addition to the standard event types described above, Distil has the flexibility to track any event that can be triggered by JavaScript code. You can find more detail in our article on Distil Tracking Code.

Was this article helpful?



Article is closed for comments.

Still have questions?

Contact us