Community Tip: List Properties - Mixpanel
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Community Tip: List Properties

Today’s Community Post will cover the ins and outs of list properties. We’ll go over how to set list type properties and why you want to use them.

What is a list property?

Event properties are a great way to send Mixpanel a lot of detailed information about how users interact with your website/app. In addition to lots of awesome property datatypes (numbers, strings, booleans), we support list properties.

List properties are as simple as the name sounds – it’s a property containing a list of information! List properties allow you to describe dimensions that contains more than one value.

When would you want to use a list property?

You would want to use list properties whenever you have more than one value for a given property. Some examples:

  • Items purchased in a “Checkout completed” event
  • Multiple artists for a “Song Played” event
  • Experiment groupings for A/B testing
  • Genres of music in a listener’s preferences

How do I create a list property?

When you want to send in a property as a list, you need to make sure the property is a JSON array. Mixpanel will take care of the rest provided the property is sent in a valid format.

Here’s a sample code snippet:

mixpanel.track("event name", {"List Property Name":["Item 1", "Item 2", "Item 3", "Item 4"]});

What can I do with list properties?

Now, here’s where the real magic is. We’ve updated how we handle list properties in our reports making your analytics even more powerful! When you analyze a list property in Segmentation, we will automatically segment your data by each of the items within the list.

Let’s walk through a few examples of business questions you can answer using list properties. For these examples, we are going to use an imaginary and simplified example: a website where shoppers can purchase groceries online called FreshSite. Now, let’s consider some business questions lists can help FreshSite answer.

How many loaves of sourdough bread sold last month?

To answer this question, segment the data by the list property. Mixpanel will segment list data by the individual values, rather than by the complete list.

In this example, when segmenting the “Checkout” event by “Products”, you will see that FreshSite sold 404 loaves of sourdough bread in February 2015.

How many purchases last month included bread?

For this question, we want to typecast our list property as a string. This will allow us to filter our data by certain words (a substring to some ), rather than an entire string.

You can then search for a certain substring or list element, and the Segmentation report will pull how many times an event had a value in its list that contained that substring.

As you can see, I had 541 purchases in February 2015 that included bread. We now know from the previous chart that there were 404 sourdoughs, 75 whole wheats, and 62 challahs across 541 purchases. If a user buys bread, they only buy one kind of bread.

How many customers repeatedly buy sourdough bread?

With Retention and list properties, FreshSite can easily see if specific items are purchased multiple times. It’s great for knowing not only if users are loyal to your company, but also loyal to specific products!

What pages lead to a higher conversion than others?

Users often might look through a series of pages on your site before they do that one crucial action, like a purchase.

On our imaginary grocery site, FreshSite, users might view numerous pages before they decide to register and then later purchase through the site. You want to know what paths lead to higher conversions, so that we can guide users through a specific flow and increase the conversion rate.

To do this, you would use list properties and send in a list of all of the pages on a site the user has taken before they converted.

For this example, I want to know what paths lead to the highest conversion for purchases. I have assigned each page on my website an identification number, and I add each page number to a list. When I send in the purchase event, I add the page numbers list as a property.

Now, in a Segmentation report, we can see the most popular pages for users who made a purchase on my website.

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Happy listing! Have any questions? Please reach out to to speak to someone smart, quickly.

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