Segmentation is a powerful tool that helps you pull valuable data out of Adobe Marketing Cloud reports. Understanding how segmentation works on various breakdowns is key to interpreting the data it returns.

Breakdown scopes

Every breakdown has a scope that it applies to (as do some metrics). Most breakdowns are page view based, however there are several that are different. Using these breakdowns with the same segmentation container returns expected data. Using these breakdowns with a different segmentation container returns much different data.

Subhit Page view Visit Visitor

Multiple values can occur in a single page view.

  • Products
  • List Props
  • List Vars
  • Merchandising eVars (in context of events)

Multiple values can occur in a single visit.

  • All other breakdowns not listed, including Pages, Props, and eVars

Only a single value can occur in a visit.

  • Visit Number
  • Entry Page
  • Return Frequency
  • Return Visits
  • Participation Metrics
  • Linearly allocated metrics

Only a single value can occur for that entire visitor's lifetime.

  • Customer Loyalty
  • Days Before First Purchase
  • Original Entry Page
  • Original Referring Domains

Use the following two visits for each of the below examples:

Visit 1: Home Page → Product Page → Checkout Page → Purchase Page ($10)

Visit 2: Product Page → Home Page → Product Page

Segmentation container equal to breakdown scope

Using the same breakdown scope as a segment container brings expected results: just the line items that matched the segment rule.

  • Page View container where page equals Home Page: Viewing a pages report with this segment only returns the values equaling Home Page. All other pages are excluded from reporting.
  • Visit container where entry page equals Product Page: Viewing an entry pages report only returns the second visit, since its entry page matched the segment rule.
  • Visit container where visit number equals 1: All hits from the first visit are included in reporting, since it matched the segment rule.

Segmentation container larger than a breakdown scope

This situation occurs fairly commonly, as many segment rules are hit-based in visit containers. The entire segment container is used, even if only a single hit matched the rule.

  • Visit container where page equals Product Page: Viewing a pages report with this segment displays all data, since both visits contained 'Product Page. If a page matches the segment rule, bring in not only that hit, but all other hits associated with that visit.
  • Visit container where page equals Purchase Page: Viewing a pages report with this segment only displays all data from the first visit, since the second visit does not have a Purchase Page.
  • Visitor container where entry page equals Product Page: This segment retrieves all data from both visits. Because one visit had an entry page of Product Page, all visits from this visitor are included in the segment.

Segmentation container smaller than the breakdown scope

Segments with a smaller container than the breakdown scope returns unexpected data. Using a smaller breakdown still pulls in all hits from that scope.

  • Page View container where entry page equals Product Page: Every page associates with the visit's entry page, making it a visit-based breakdown. Using this segment not only pulls in the entry page Product Page, but also all hits in that visit as well.
  • Page View container where List Var 1 contains ValueA: If multiple values were defined on the same hit as the list var, all variable values are included in the segment. There is no way to separate values that occur in the same hit, as the smallest segment container is Page View.
  • Page View container where Page equals Purchase Page: If using page views as a metric, only the purchase page is displayed (as expected). If using Revenue Participation, all pages in the first visit receive $10, since participation metrics are visit-based.
  • Page View container where Page equals Checkout Page: If using page views as a metric, only the checkout page is displayed (as expected). If using Revenue participation, no pages receive credit. The hit that actually made the purchase is not included in the segment, so no revenue participation is given to any item.

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