A lot happened there.
- Loading the first page causes a pageview.
- Clicking on a carousel, if tagged properly by analytics software, is an event that belongs to that first page.
- Clicking on any item causes a second pageview.
- Clicking on the 'add to cart' button, if tagged properly by analytics software, is an event that belongs to that second page.
- Clicking on 'checkout' causes a third pageview.
Most events are not tagged because most software does not tag them automatically.
And, when those events are tagged, their treated in varying ways by different software. Events have always been, somewhat, second class citizens compared to pageviews.
Why are Events Second Class Citizens?
The same phenomenon that's responsible for the QWERTY keyboard. It's lock-in.
For a very long time, since the first applet in 1995, through to Macromedia Flash, to ancient AJAX, and now frameworks like jquery, emberjs, angularjs, (and others), we've been inventing experiences that do not cause a page load. It's possible to have an entire experience without causing a second page load.
These technologies enable experiences that are very rich in events. And, those events are not all automatically captured, processed, and understood by web analytics softare or the people that use them.
Events, those that occur after or before another page load, have been somewhat troublesome.
And that's in part because the technology was built on a different foundation, and it's locked in on that foundation. And, it's in part because there's been quite a bit of trouble in recording the context in which an event is situated. At an even deeper level, it's not as though most of these frameworks have been written with recording the context of an event in mind.
Record All The Things!
A new generation of digital analytics, enabled by big data (in the cloud!), simply records the entire session, every single click, swipe, and scroll, and passes it back to a server for storage. And then some poor person has to make sense of it all with little context.
The context, however, remains a problem. And sadly, for both the reader and for all of us, there is no handy way of farming context. Not yet.
Where we're at
So, as a result of the page load hogging all the glory as top dog in many of the tools we use, many digital analysts think in terms of the pageview.