Google Analytics for eCommerce is an undeniably powerful tool for eCommerce store. It will allow you to see things like how much traffic is coming to your site, where they’re coming from, and how they’re interacting with your site. All this information can be used to find new customers and increase conversions rate.
If you did not set up your site tracking correctly, then you’re shooting in the dark – you’ll never know whether you’ve hit the target or missed.
If you use the full potential of Google Analytics for your eCommerce site it will make a huge difference in the growth of your business. Unfortunately, it will take some time to be effective.
Google Analytics for eCommerce can show you all the necessary information, but it’s not a built-in report. You need to set it up to accommodate eCommerce tracking, and in this post, we’ll explain the fundamentals to you, to help you to speed up your process.
Google Analytics for eCommerce
Just to be clear, you don’t need to switch to enhanced eCommerce Google Analytics for your site. You just need to set up your current analytics for better tracking the eCommerce site.
To do this, you’ll take the current usage data and see how it interacts with information like transactions, revenue, and more. You can even see which marketing efforts are most effective at helping to drive these results.
For those who are unfamiliar with this platform, Google Analytics is a free tracking tool that lets you evaluate what actions are being taken on eCommerce site and where your traffic is coming from. Its features gives a lot more in-depth than that, but that’s the basic idea. All eCommerce businesses – whether they’re selling from their site – should be using it.
Why You Need Google Analytics
If you owned a physical store, you have the ability to closely see your customer. You can view their behavior, habits and speak with them. Without eCommerce analytics and relevant KPIs, you will be in blind about your visitors and customers you would ordinarily get to see.
Google Analytics can help you understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, better understand your visitors and optimize your store for conversions and sales.
How does Google Analytics work?
- The URL of the page the visitor is viewing.
- Browser details and technical data (language set-up, device type, operating system, etc.).
- Referring traffic sources.
Glossary of Terms
Before we dive too deep into this article, it makes sense to explain some basic terminology you need to understand to use Google Analytics for eCommerce that may be different than the regular terms you’re used to.
Here’s the lists:
- Per Session Value: Average revenue value of a website session.
Total revenue / total sessions = PSV
- eCommerce Conversion Rate: The percentage of a session that result in transactions.
(Total eCommerce transactions / total website sessions) x 100 = ECR
- eCommerce Transactions: Purchase orders
- Transaction IDs: Individual identification for each purchase order
- Unique Purchases: Total number of times a product or set of products was part of a transaction
- Average Order Value: The average individual orders value.
Total revenue / total transactions = AOV
- Revenue: Profit after costs + shipping.
Product revenue + tax + shipping = Revenue
- Quantity: Total number of products sold.
- Average Quantity: Average number of product units or product set sold in one transaction
Quantity / unique purchases =AQ
What kind of data can you track with Google Analytics?
With every analytics tool you’ll get two types of data:
These are characteristics of the visitors, their sessions, and their actions.
Some examples of dimensions are:
- Geographic location for visitors
- Traffic source for every sessions
- Name of the page viewed by visitors for actions
These are quantitative data of visitors, sessions and actions. And they are actual numbers.
Some examples of metrics are as under:
- Total number of users as an Audience metric.
- Average number of pages/visits as a Behavior metric.
- A single purchase as a Conversion metric.
In general, you’ll be able to get the following data from Google Analytics:
- Session – visitor interactions with your eCommerce site: stops when visitor has been inactive for 30 minutes. You can extend that time for more than 30 minutes for video-streaming sites.
- Page view – counts every time a page is viewed on your eCommerce site.
- Event – actions carried out by the visitor such as watching a video, or email sign up. This requires extra customization to be able to track it. Once a visitor does not generate an event in more than 30 minutes, this session will expire.
- Visit duration – the total time from the first page visit to the last page visit.
- Pages/session – the number of pages visited by a single visitor during the particular session.
- New vs. old visitors – the percentage of new and old visitors.
- Bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who visit only one page of your website and leave without browsing further.
- Exit rate – the percentage of visitors who leave at a particular page of your site.
- Conversion rate – the percentage of visitors who purchase or complete an action on your site.
- Transactions – the total number of complete purchases on your eCommerce site.
When you open Google Analytics, you’ll find that every eCommerce reports contains dimensions and metrics. They are most commonly reported in a table, the first column represent the dimensions, and the rest of the table display the corresponding metrics:
How to use Google Analytics to track your online performance?
Before you start implementing Google Analytics on your eCommerce site, you should take time to create a measurement plan. By doing so you’ll know which metrics to track; why to track; what they mean; and how to use them to improve your site results.
To create your effective measurement plan, follow these five steps:
Identify the growth goals by creating your buyer personas, value proposition and business goals.
For example: The main store objective for EVO is to help people enjoy winter sports using their ski and snowboarding equipment, and thereby cultivate their love for extreme sports. They also want to increase their online sales in the upcoming days.
Identify the strategies and tactics to achieve these goals. Your plan must include strategies (high-level plans) and tactics (specific methods) in order to guarantee the success.
For example: The main strategy for EVO is to sell more ski and snowboarding equipment. They plan to do this by implementing tactics for:
- increasing the organic traffic with SEO.
- increasing the conversion rates with A/B testing.
- up-selling additional products during purchase.
Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – These are the metrics that you’re going to use on a daily business to understand how your business is performing and growing.
EVO would be interested in tracking:
- organic traffic.
- conversion rate.
- average order size.
- number of purchases and
Choose how to segment your data – Document which segments of data it’s important to measure for the success of your eCommerce site.
For EVO this step could be:
Marketing channels such as organic search:
- New vs. old visitors
- Visitor who buy specific snowboarding equipment
Choose targets for each KPI – This will help you to understand whether your business is performing well or poorly over time. Without this necessary information you will never know whether you’ve achieved your goals.
Where You Can Find Your Tracking Data?
You’ll need to set up Google Analytics for eCommerce tracking before you can access this data, but let’s take a look at where you can find it and what it can tell you.
In Google Analytics, eCommerce and transaction data can all be found together, packed away under one umbrella. On the left-side navigation bar, just go to Conversions, and then locate “Ecommerce” underneath it.
Under this subheading, you’ll be able to see product information, overall sales data, transaction information, shopping behavior, checkout behavior and how long it takes visitors to purchase on average.
Here’s what you can see from the different categories:
- The Overview tab gives you a quick but detailed look of everything happening with the eCommerce site. This includes fast facts like transaction rates and coupon codes recovered.
- The Shopping Behavior tab will show you how new vs. old visitors behave when shopping on your site.
- The Checkout Behavior Analysis information will show you where visitors are dropping off during the checkout process. This can help you to determine why carts abandoned and non-completed transactions are occurring.
- The Product Performance tab is the holy grail for eCommerce site. It shows you how much each revenue and each product has generated, the number of unique purchases and much more.
- The Sales Performance tab shows you sales and transaction information for individual product orders.
- Product List Performance shows you in-depth information on how each individual product or product set is performing.
How to setup Google Analytics for eCommerce tracking
To set up Google Analytics, follow these five steps:
Step 2: Log in to your Google Analytics account and click on “Create new account”.
Fill out the required data fields, and on the next page you’ll get the tracking ID code just like the following screenshot.
Step 3: Set up tracking ID code on your eCommerce site by copying and pasting your tracking ID on every single page of your eCommerce site that you’d like to track. The best location for the code is at the end of the head tag.
Step 4: Turn on the eCommerce tracking feature. For eCommerce sites you’ll have to perform one additional step to be able to track things like sales and average order size. To turn on this feature do the following things:
Enable E-commerce tracking within your analytics website deal.
Add Google analytics code to your “Transaction complete” page.
Add additional eCommerce tracking code receipt pages so you can capture the details of each transaction.
After this, your Google Analytics will be fully operational and you’ll start to collect data of your reports.
How to segment your data?
With segmentation you‘re filtering data in real time with the aim of isolating and comparing metrics so that you can check which segments are under performing. It’s extremely useful for understanding your eCommerce site performance, and filtering actionable take-away.
Segment by visitors – Multiple sessions within the date range you selected, such as all the goals visitors completed or all the revenue generated by a visitor.
You can compare visitors who made purchases to visitors who didn‘t make purchases. This analysis will help you understand what influences visitor to buy.
Segment by sessions: The data here draws the visitor behavior from a single session, such as goals completed during the session or the amount of revenue generated by the visitor during the session.
For example: you can segment sessions based on traffic source / paid search, and compare it to the organic search.
Both segments can be built on:
- session dates.
- visitor actions.
When you go to Audience, you’ll find that all of the Sessions segment already applies to the Audience section, which includes all sessions within the selected date range.
Click on the arrow to open up the segment builder. You’ll find a list of commonly used segments. You can compare up to four segments at any given time by clicking on the segment label or dragging it into the empty fields at the top of the report. You can also remove them by clicking on “x” to the already selected ones.
When you will select your segment, click on “Apply” at the bottom. You’ll able to see each of your segments represented by a time graph and a data table. Once applied, segments will show in your other reports also.
To create a custom segment, simply click on “Create new segment”. Start by giving a segment name, then choose your criteria from the categories on the left side to filter your data.
For example: you can choose language from the demographics category and filter it for only those who speak Portuguese. You can also create customization based on sequences of custom interaction.
How to set up goals to analyze funnel?
Goals allows you to map all the data with the KPIs that you want to track. With them you can easily analyze your sales funnel and understand which pages are killing your conversions.
Type of goals – there are four types of goals that you can create with Google Analytics:
- Pages/visit (three pages)
- Events (registration)
eCommerce reporting – It tracks important sales activities and performance for your eCommerce store, such as:
- conversion rates.
- unique purchases.
- product purchased.
- number of times visitors visited before purchasing and
- so on….
The eCommerce reporting is very similar to the goal reporting, with a small difference – goal conversions are tracked as one per visit. Therefore, if one visitor buys several products per visit, it will be counted as one conversion.
eCommerce conversions are tracked by multiple times per visit. If a visitor buys three products per visit, it will be counted as three conversions.
Google Analytics for eCommerce will naturally look a little different than Google Analytics for restaurants, service providers, and other types of local or international businesses. The focus is more on revenue, transactions, and how website usage is driving sales in measurable through a concrete ways.
While setting up the eCommerce tracking for eCommerce does take time, it gives you so much valuable, actionable information you can use to improve your eCommerce site to drive more sales.