What is Web Extend?

Web Extend is the Emarsys data collection module. It collects data from multiple sources: your product catalog, visitor interactions on your websites and historical and offline sales data. Web Extend processes this input and feeds validated data to other modules of the Emarsys platform.

Web Extend tracks all users of the website, and recognizes all contacts recorded in the contact database.

The website interactions of these known contacts is synched by Web Extend to the contact database every few hours.

Watch this short short video introduction about Web Extend!

Why do you need data collection on your website?

  • Web Extend collects website behavior data of users, and synchronizes the collected behavior to the contact behavior fields in your Emarsys contact database. This synchronization happens every few hours. Many Automation Center programs are built on these fields.

  • Web Extend tracks email campaign purchases and feeds this on a daily basis to to Analysis > Trends screens.

  • Web Extend tracks and updates revenue data in various Dashboards and statistical screens on a daily basis.

  • Web Extend API is used by Predict to deliver real-time, personalized product recommendations on websites and in emails.

  • Web Extend feeds cleaned and validated product and sales data to Smart Insight to create customer lifecycle scoring.

  • The personalized shopping assistant Discovery also uses Web Extend data collection to learn about the browsing context of visitors.

How are contacts identified in Web Extend?

  1. Web Extend tracks all visitors who interact with your website by dropping a visitor cookie. This is a first-party, one-year expiration time cookie. The cookie is used for pseudonomized identification of website visitors. The cookie at this point is not yet linked to a specific contact in Emarsys.

  2. Now, Emarsys offers 2 alternate ways for explicit identification of website users (contacts):

    • with the visitor’s email address: Emarsys will hash and handle the email address securely. Since all contacts in your DB have an email address, this method allows you to achieve a complete coverage of your contact database.
    • with an external ID: this is the customer ID or user ID that your website currently uses to identify registered users. If you opt for using this as your Emarsys identifier, then you need to make these IDs available in the contactDB for each contact, and maintain this list through the contact import API.
  3. When a visitor logs in to the website, the website will use one of the above IDs to explicitely identify the website visitor to Web Extend.

  4. The same explicit identification happens when a contact clicks through via an email link (Emarsys attaches a pseudonomized contact identifier to all email links).

  5. Web Extend will then try to match these explicit identifications to the contacts stored in the contact DB.

  6. When a website user is successfully matched to a contact, Web Extend will update the behavior fields. At this point, pseudonomized cookie information is linked to a specific contact in Emarsys.

  7. Any future interaction of this contact with the website will be logged and synched to the contactDB, regardless whether the user was logged in or not. Web Extend will use the browser cookie to identify the user, and will inferr the explicit identification from this.
  8. If a user is explicitly identified on multiple devices (logs in on desktop, and later clicks through an email link on a mobile device), then the visitor cookies of the two devices will be linked to the same explicit identifier, and all future visits of the user on both devices will be successfully identified and logged by Web Extend.

How easy is Web Extend to install and maintain?

We provide a step-by-step Implementation Guide and a number of validation tools like Inspector Gadget and Live Events to make integration as easy and transparent as possible.

We also provide system monitors like the Data Sources page and Live Validator, to make sure data collection is always healthy.

Additional information

And in case there are any questions left unanswered…