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Google Analytics is a powerful sidekick in the fight for ecommerce conversions, providing you with a range of valuable insights about both your site and your customers. These insights help you identify your most valuable channels, customers, and promotions, and ultimately help increase conversions and sales.
Setting up Ecommerce Tracking isn’t exactly straight forward, so we’re here to help explain both how to set up your tracking and how to use it.
Setup Basic Tracking
The first step to setting up Ecommerce Tracking is having a Google account. If you have a Gmail address already then you can use that, otherwise it doesn’t take long to set one up.
Next you’ll need to make sure your tracking code is set up properly. To find your tracking code, go to the Admin section of your Google Analytics account, select the site you want to add ecommerce tracking to, and click Tracking Info.
Your basic page tracking looks something like this:
})(window,document,’script’,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXXX-Y’, ‘auto’);
You can download the Google Tag Assistant browser extension and it will double check that the tracking code is set up properly and notify you of any errors.
The next step is turning on the ecommerce tracking, and there are a couple of different ways this can be achieved: through a platform/plug-in or manually.
Depending on what ecommerce platform you use, Step 3 will vary a bit. For instance, Shopify users can navigate to a page on their site’s backend where the Google Analytics code can simply be copy and pasted, making it very easy for users.
Manually setting up ecommerce tracking requires considerably more effort.
First of all, whereas your basic tracking snippet goes on every page you want to track, the ecommerce code is only added to your “Thank You” or receipt pages.
The code itself has four parts to it, with the first part simply being a command that loads the tracking plug-in. The next sections of the ecommerce tracking code are called the transaction and item tags. Transaction data contains information regarding the overall transaction whereas item tags represent which products were in the shopping cart. Lastly, there is a command that sends all of this data to Google Analytics.
Putting it all together your tracking code will look something like this.
‘id’: ‘1234’, // Transaction ID. Required.
‘affiliation’: ‘Acme Clothing’, // Affiliation or store name.
‘revenue’: ‘11.99’, // Grand Total.
‘shipping’: ‘5’, // Shipping.
‘tax’: ‘1.29’ // Tax.
‘id’: ‘1234’, // Transaction ID. Required.
‘name’: ‘Fluffy Pink Bunnies’, // Product name. Required.
‘sku’: ‘DD23444’, // SKU/code.
‘category’: ‘Party Toys’, // Category or variation.
‘price’: ‘11.99’, // Unit price.
‘quantity’: ‘1’ // Quantity.
The challenge here is that all of this information needs to be filled dynamically so that it changes depending on which items are in your customer’s cart, and achieving this will vary depending on the programing language your site uses.
While the specifics of the coding are beyond the scope of this post, if you are interested in diving into more advanced reading about how to dynamically assign tags, Google Developers has some excellent resources.
No matter which method you use to integrate your ecommerce tracking, the final step is turning it on. To do this, visit your Google Analytics Admin dashboard, click Ecommerce Settings, press enable Ecommerce, and then save your changes. This will give you access to the ecommerce reports that are normally hidden from the basic menu, however, it generally takes 24-48 hours before any data starts getting picked up by Google Analytics.
If you don’t have a lot of experience with Google Analytics, the reporting dashboard can be a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, you can extract some hugely valuable information with just a few clicks.
Turning on ecommerce tracking not only gives you access to hidden reports, but also adds an extra view for your basic reports.
The basic reports are:
Real-time – provides real-time data about your site and visitors
Audience – tells you more about who is using your site
Acquisition – tells you where your visitors came from
Behavior – shows you how visitors interact with your site and what they are doing
Conversions – shows you about sales and conversions
When using one of the basic reports, you can click the Ecommerce button in the Explorer menu to see how that report reflects transactions and revenue.
What Can You Get from the Data?
A lot. But there are a few key insights I’d like to highlight.
The Channels report shows you which channels are best at driving revenue, helping you to identify the most effective channels for selling. Is email a big revenue driver? Perhaps a lot of customers come from social media or a CPC ad? This is hugely valuable information to know as it helps you focus future promotions and ad spend effectively.
The Behavior report also contains some highly valuable information. This report shows how shoppers interact with your site and helps you to identify both problem areas and things that working well. For instance, how many people bounce when they see your pricing page? What terms are people searching on your site? Which landing pages are most effective at driving sales?
Information like this helps you to improve your marketing efforts, segment more effectively, optimize your user experience, and gain a better understanding of your customers – all of which helps you to grow your business.
The Ecommerce reports can be found under the Conversions tab. Here you can find a range of information, including which of your products, SKUs, and categories are the best are driving revenue.
There are a few main metrics in the ecommerce reports that you will want to pay extra attention to:
Ecommerce Conversion Rate – The number of purchases divided by the number of sessions
Revenue – The total revenue generated over the time period
Average Order Value – The average value of a transaction on your site
Together these three metrics give you a snapshot of your site’s overall performance and its ability to generate revenue.
While the previous metrics are good for looking at your site’s overall effectiveness, the product performance report explores at the data one level deeper by showing which products sell the most and which generate the greatest revenue.
One interesting way that the product performance report can be used is by breaking the data up by customer segment. This shows you how different products perform with different customer segments and helps you tailor your marketing and promotions for each customer segment.
A second way you can use these reports is by looking at the revenue per transaction and the number of products per transaction. If the revenue per transaction or number of products is lower than you would like, then you might consider offering a quantity discount or free-shipping on orders over ‘x’ amount to help increase it.
There is one more report I’d like to highlight: the multi-channel funnels report.
Looking at the channel report will show you which channel drives the most revenue, however, this only shows you their last touch point before making a purchase. And shoppers today don’t use just one channel. Someone that makes a purchase online may have first seen an email, then checked out the Facebook page, and then clicked on an ad before completing their purchase. Not only will you start to get an understanding of the customer journey, but you can also see which path has the best conversion rate.
With multi-channel funnels, you can gain a better understanding of your customers’ path to purchase as well as which channel work best together.
Now You Know
A jumble of numbers and figures, Google Analytics can seem overwhelming at first. That said, it can provide you with priceless data to help you grow your business and increase sales. So now that you know how, go set up your ecommerce tracking and see how you can use it to drive more revenue and pad that bottom line.
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