The brief

This case study demonstrates how Search Laboratory migrated Ann Summers’ attribution model from Rakuten Attribution to the Google Analytics 360 suite, without any disruption in reporting continuity.

This migration means that the model is customizable for future reconfiguration and testing.


The team at Ann Summers wanted to migrate to the Google Analytics 360 suite for several reasons. The website attracts a high volume of visitors and transactions, which meant it had outgrown the standard Google Analytics platform. To effectively attribute and report on data, the team at Ann Summers needed access to the enterprise-level features Google Analytics 360 provides, such as fast and fresh data.


The other main reasons include:

  • The need for a better CRM integration option
  • A requirement for a more powerful customized implementation
  • A need to move towards using a data-driven attribution model
  • Integration with DoubleClick

To ensure a smooth transition between platforms, and to prevent any loss of data, there was a short timeline to get the migration completed.

The challenges

  • Keeping continuity in the reporting during the migration

This was imperative as Ann Summers needed a benchmark for future testing.

  • A short timeline

There was a short turnaround period to avoid loss of insights and data.

The solution

We had to set up channel definitions and traffic sources to ensure they mapped to those understood and used within Rakuten. Once this was complete we customized a model within Google Analytics 360 so that the rules and weightings aligned with the model they used with Rakuten.


We tested the model and went through various iterations to ensure the model was as accurate as possible.


Using the custom-attribution model tool in Google Analytics 360 gave us incredible flexibility beyond the standard ‘off-the-shelf’ models.


With this, we were able to produce the attribution figures and reports the business was accustomed to and allow reporting continuity during the process.


Once the custom model was set up, we could start to view attribution figures side by side with the much more powerful Data-Driven Model, a feature of Google Analytics 360.


As part of the process, we also conducted an in-depth audit to identify and fix several implementation issues which users were unaware of, meaning more accurate data and a deeper trust in the implementation.


  • The migration was successful, in a quick four-week timeline
  • No disruption to reporting
  • Allowed us to stress-test the model
  • Clarified opportunities to optimize the digital channel strategy
  • Gave the Ann Summers’ team confidence in the data
  • Saved the cost from Rakuten

The team successfully delivered the first phase of the project within the four-week timescale which involved using a combination of Google Analytics 360 and a robust data layer to migrate key metrics and traffic sources. There were quite a few changes that needed to be made, and the team at Search Laboratory were flexible and adaptable and carried out all the work to the highest standard. We’re really pleased with the work Search Laboratory has carried out and look forward to reaping the benefits of using the Google Analytics 360 platform.”

Rebecca Smith, Digital Analytics Manager, Ann Summers 

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