BlueConic Timeline FAQ
What are Timeline events in BlueConic?
BlueConic Timeline events let you store time-based data for a customer or visitor profile, such as product orders, page views, clicks, etc. Events are stored on each profile's Timeline to capture information about timing and sequence of events.
You can view a profile's Timeline by selecting Profiles from the navigation bar and selecting the Profile timeline tab.
How are Timeline events created?
Timeline events are not recorded by default. You need to tell BlueConic which types of events to collect and where/how to store them. BlueConic provides several preconfigured Timeline event types. You can customize these event types and also create your own Timeline event types to suit your needs.
How do I add events to a profile's Timeline?
In order to add events to a BlueConic profile's Timeline, you need to first decide what types of events you want to record and define a Timeline event type to record this event. To add product orders, for example, you can use the prebuilt Order Timeline event type by installing the Event type: Order plugin from BlueConic.
You can import Timeline events from your martech systems using standard connections including:
- Amazon Web Services (S3)
- Azure Blob Storage
- Azure Data Lake
- Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
- Google BigQuery
- Google Cloud Storage
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Contact your Customer Success Manager for details on using Timeline event types in BlueConic.
How does the default Order Timeline event type work?
BlueConic provides a default Order Timeline event type you can use for importing product orders via the SFTP Connection.
To use this Order event information to enhance your product recommendations, you need to do two things:
- In the Order details, you need to store the BlueConic product store ID in a property called "bcStoreId".
- The Product IDs in the Order event must exactly match the product IDs in your BlueConic product store. You select the product store name in Step 5 of the order data import via the SFTP Connection.
In addition, keep the following guidelines in mind when creating product recommendations based on the default Order event type:
- Products need to be present in the product or content store, in order to be recommended.
- If you add an Order of this event type, and BlueConic matches the product id, BlueConic will add Order events to a profile's timeline.
- Bought products for this order are added to a profile property that stores products ordered by this profile.
- Also, product stores and related statistics are updated with new Order events. This additional product data lets you create better personal recommendations, because there is more product information available for the current profile.
Which Timeline event types are available by default?
BlueConic provides several Timeline event types out of the box, which you can use to store customer events in a profile's Timeline. These event types are available by in BlueConic default:
- Order event type
- Email delivered event type
- Email opened event type
- Email link clicked event type
- Abandoned basket event type
- Order refund event type, with three statuses: refund requested, returned, refunded
You can add custom properties to these event types and create your own custom Timeline event types in BlueConic. See Creating Timeline event types for details.
How can I use Timeline events for data activation in BlueConic?
Timeline events make it possible for you to store customer order data in the BlueConic product store. You can use this information to:
- Create better, more personal product recommendations.
- Improve overall product recommendation statistics by using product order data.
- Use the Python package in AI Workbench to retrieve events along with visitor profile.
- Use the BlueConic REST API to retrieve events.
How can I deduplicate Timeline events?
To prevent duplicate events being added to a timeline, you can set an "externalID" field. It is not possible to add an event with an externalID that already exists.
How does BlueConic handle Timeline event storage and priority?
Events are data points tied to the BlueConic Timeline of a profile, containing for example an order the customer placed. BlueConic comes out of the box with several predefined BlueConic Timeline event types. You can customize how long BlueConic stores these events on the profile timeline.
For the storage of Timeline events, the maximum event size is 1kb. Events bigger than 1kb will not be stored. For this reason, we recommend that you keep the event Property ID short, to reduce the effect on the storage and event size limit.
The retention period for timeline events can be set to a specified number of days, or indefinitely. There are also rules on how many events can be stored in the profile timeline.
Example: You create an order event with a retention period set to 90 days. A web purchase a user makes today is stored in the profile for 90 days from today. If a purchase event occurred a year ago but is sent to the profile timeline today, it is also retained for 90 days. Both events are stored for a set period of 90 days starting from when they are added to the profile timeline.
Note: If you change a Timeline event type's retention setting, the update applies only to newly created timeline events of this type.
Some notes on how the retention period works for timeline events:
- When a timeline event is added to the profile, the retention period is set based on the date it is added or update on the timeline, not the event date itself.
Limits on the number of stored events and retention periods are mutually exclusive. BlueConic cleans up events when a limit of events has been reached, and event data is retained for a period of time as defined in the retention setting.
Retention is based on when an event is imported, inserted, or created in BlueConic.
Cleanup of low-priority and high priority events is done based on the oldest event date.
Timeline event priority levels
Events can be defined as high or low priority. In a standard BlueConic subscription, there is a maximum number of 250 events per profile allowed. Low-priority events have a default retention period of 30 days. High-priority events are constrained by the total number of events and take precedence over low-priority events, which are capped at 50 if there are 200 or more high-priority events.
Learn more about customizing Timeline event priority settings in BlueConic.
Is there an extra cost to use Timeline events?
By default, there is currently no extra cost to use Timeline events, but events being stored are added to your BlueConic total data storage. If you have a lot of events to store, you may need to buy more data storage to be able to use Timeline events under your current contract. Contact your Customer Success Manager to discuss your data storage needs.