You probably already know that Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking consumer behavior patterns and traffic to your site. If you’re already using Google Analytics to track activity on your site, great job – but that’s only half the battle! If you sell products online, one of Google Analytics’ most powerful tools is its ability to analyze not only how people use your site, but what they’re buying and how they’re purchasing your products. That’s where Google Analytics’ ecommerce tracking comes in.
As a newbie or even as a seasoned user of Google Analytics, implementing and understanding ecommerce tracking may seem a little intimidating. Not to fear – follow our quick-start guide to get moving with ecommerce analytics tracking.
PART 1: SET IT UP
First off, you’ll need to decide what kind of ecommerce tracking will fit your site’s needs. There are two kinds of ecommerce tracking available within Google Analytics:
- Standard Ecommerce Tracking: Includes most of the major info you’ll need to analyze customer purchase activity, such as transaction information and average order value.
- Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking: Includes all the functionality of Standard Ecommerce Tracking, but also allows you to analyze consumers’ paths to purchases and inspect other factors such as shopping cart abandonment. Enhanced ecommerce tracking is only available if your site uses Universal Analytics (recognizable by the “analytics.js” snippet in your analytics tracking code).
It’s up to you to decide what kind of ecommerce tracking will be best for your business. If you’re looking to get a better understanding of the way consumers make purchases on your site, Standard Ecommerce may be all you need, and the relative simplicity can be helpful. If you have more specific questions (for instance, if you’re noticing that your customers seem to be viewing a lot of pages but are struggling to complete the buying process), Enhanced Ecommerce might be a good way to zoom in on the deeper processes behind customer decisions.
So now that you’ve decided what kind of ecommerce journey you want to set off on, it’s time to implement tracking. We’ve broken the process down for you:
- Enable Ecommerce on Google Analytics: The first thing you’re going to need to do is enable your analytics account to record this kind of data. Simply…
- Sign into your Google Analytics account
- Click on “Admin” at the top of your page
- In the “View” column, select the view you’re ready to track
- In the “View” column, select “Ecommerce Settings”
- Set the “Enable Ecommerce” button to “On”
- If you’re setting up Enhanced Ecommerce, switch it on as well
- Click “Next Step” and then “Submit”
PART 2: WHAT IT ALL MEANS
Now that you’ve implemented ecommerce tracking, what’s next? Luckily, once you’ve added your tracking code and set Google Analytics to detect it, your ecommerce reports will start populating with data and you’ll be able to start analyzing your customers’ shopping habits like a pro. Here’s a quick crash course in understanding your Google Analytics Ecommerce reports:
Finding Your Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics:
-In Google Analytics, navigate to the view in which you implemented ecommerce tracking.
-Select “Reporting” from the main menu.
-On the left-hand side menu, select “Conversions”.
Another cool feature that comes along with implementing Ecommerce Tracking is that you can now see ecommerce info directly in many of the reports in Google Analytics.
Select your favorite report and check out the ecommerce info that you can now find by selecting “Ecommerce” in the menu of the “Conversions” section at the right-hand edge of your reports. This is very convenient when you want to quickly segment your ecommerce data in relation to dimensions such as demographics, geography, or channels.
Understanding Ecommerce Lingo:
You probably already understand several of the metrics within Google Analytics’ ecommerce report, such as Revenue and Quantity, but there are some new metrics within this report that you may not be as familiar with. Here are a few important terms to keep an eye on:
–Ecommerce Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of sessions that culminated in an ecommerce transaction. Your ecommerce conversion rate gives you a quick way to determine if your shoppers are buying or if they’re just browsing.
–Unique Purchases: This refers to the number of times that a specified product (or set of products) was part of an order. In other words, if one person purchases two or more of the same item, that will only count as one “unique purchase”. This can be useful to determine how customers purchase your products and could help you identify if offering promotions such as bulk discounts could be a beneficial action for certain products.
–Transactions: Are a few customers buying a ton of stuff, or do you have a ton of customers buying one item each? The Transactions metric tells you how many times a customer made any kind of purchase on your site. When you compare your number of transactions to your total revenue, you can calculate “Average Order Value”, which is another useful Google Analytics ecommerce metric for understanding how valuable, on average, each customer’s transaction is to your business. Knowing the average value of transactions is key to efficiently planning your digital marketing efforts going forward.
Obviously, there is a lot more you can look at within ecommerce reports, especially if you have decided to implement Enhanced Ecommerce. If you ensure that your ecommerce tracking is installed correctly, the data collected in these reports can help you understand your customers’ behavior on a much deeper level.
If you’re ready to dive in but are still unsure where to start, contact the Leverage Marketing team today. We’re seasoned Google Analytics experts who are pros at setting up and analyzing ecommerce data, and we’re ready to answer your toughest ecommerce questions.