(Last Updated On: September 17, 2019)

Tracking Different Revenue Channels for Airlines

How can airlines track Desktop, Tablet, Mobile, Tablet Apps, and Mobile Apps for iOS and Android in Google Analytics?What profiles need to be set up if the airline has a mobile responsive site vs. a mobile site and desktop site? How should an airline set up the tracking environment for mobile apps/tables apps? How does eCommerce tracking look like for native mobile apps vs. web apps vs. native apps?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) for Desktop and Mobile

The first step is to implement a GTM container on every page of the website and app. The implementation is the same for mobile apps and tablet apps, if the airline has different ones. GTM is free and offers simple, yet powerful, tag management from an online platform allowing to add and manage tags (such as Analytics page view or AdWords conversion tracking tags) via the Tag Manager user interface. For mobile, tags can be implemented without having to rebuild and resubmit application binaries to app marketplaces which is a huge advantage.

Setup and installation of Google Tag Manager

Note for mobile apps: Implementation of Tag Manager for mobile apps is done in conjunction with Firebase SDK. Android and iOS require a different implementation.

Once the right GTM container has been implemented on every page of the website and app, you can publish the Universal Analytics tag in every container.

Let’s Talk About Firebase SDK

Firebase is a mobile development platform that helps you use Google services when building iOS and Android apps. Firebase Analytics is bundled into the Firebase SDK. Still, you can connect Firebase Analytics with Google Analytics.

Note: If you have a hybrid app, you will need to implement both the native Android/iOS SDK and the Web SDK. See more below.

Mobile App Tracking

There are three different types of apps:

App Type Description
Native App A native app is an application program that has been developed for use on a particular platform or device.
Web App A web app is generalized for multiple platforms and not installed locally but made available over the Internet through a browser.
Hybrid App A hybrid app is one that combines elements of both native and Web applications.

The tracking set up for native apps and web apps is pretty straightforward by implementing the respective SDK for either iOS or Android, while the tracking setup for hybrid apps is a combination of both just as the way the app is built.

Hybrid App Tracking

If an airline has a hybrid mobile app which not only uses web views, but also uses functionality of the native application, we need to implement the GTM website version for web views and the SDK to track functionality in the native app.

Profiles in Google Analytics

It is best practice to track different apps in separate properties:

Property Function
Desktop Site Analyze Desktop / Tablet / Mobile traffic via Advanced Segments.
Mobile Site This applies if airline has a separate mobile site. Otherwise, Mobile traffic can be measured via an Advanced Segment in the Main Profile
Android App Track Android App Visits
Android App WebViews Track Android App Revenue
iOS App Track iOS App Visits
iOS App WebViews Track iOS App Revenue
Tablet App Track Tablet App Visits
Tablet App iOS WebViews Track Tablet App Revenue

Note: If you want to see app data together, creating an account with AdMob allows you to get a view of all of your data in one place with a rollup property.

Here are Google’s Best Practices for Mobile App Tracking.


Sample Device Segmentation Report in Tableau

Now we are able to segment the traffic for Android App, Desktop Traffic, iOS App, Mobile Site, Tablet Android App, Tablet iOS App, Tablet Traffic on Mobile Responsive Site:

Tableau Segmentation Report - App Tracking

Sample Tableau Segmentation Report


Katharina Warzel

Katharina Warzel