Google Analytics is a daunting tool. With such a wide variety of data points collected, metrics to track, and reports to analyze, it’s often hard to tell whether you’re capturing the information you need, focusing on the right metrics, or whether you’ve got it configured correctly. Regardless of your current usage or comfort-level with Google Analytics, you need to include Ecommerce Tracking in your Google Analytics toolbox.
Ecommerce Tracking connects a dollar value to your visitors and their behavior, giving you greater clarity into the value of email campaigns, SEO, landing pages, site search, and the like. Ecommerce Tracking enables you to measure product and transaction-specific metrics such as revenue, quantity and time-to purchase.
While the technical aspects of setting-up Ecommerce Tracking are beyond the scope of this article, there are a variety of good resources from Google, and a host of plugins for any of the specific tools such as WordPress that you may be using for your web presence. What will be covered is an overview of what specifically you should be tracking in-terms of Goals, Events, and Ecommerce data, and how to use this data to optimize your site.
Ecommerce Tracking Reports
By enabling Ecommerce Tracking, you’ll have access to some high-level reports in the conversions section of Google Analytics.
These reports contain indicators that tell you things like conversion rate, number of transactions, revenue, average order value, and time to purchase. Within these reports, you can segment your transactional data by product, from the category-level all the way down to individual product SKUs.
You can derive some interesting metrics from the default reports, honing in on which products sell in the highest quantities, and which products sell the fastest. While the default reports do provide high-level stats, the most actionable information can be found in other places.
Ecommerce Tracking Throughout Google Analytics
Out of the box, one can get tremendous value from Ecommerce Tracking where it is incorporated (by default) into many of the other existing reports in Google Analytics. These enhancements to existing reports can provide detailed and actionable insight into the activity of your users and the performance of your site. The three key reports that offer immediately actionable information are the site-search, pages, traffic, and campaigns reports.
1. Site Search Reports
In the site search reports, you can gain an understanding of whether site search is leading to a higher conversion rate, the impact of search usage on time to transact, which search terms lead to the highest conversion rates, which search terms lead to the highest average order values, and answers to many other questions. Answering questions like these can help you make decisions on whether or not you should be promoting search, and where you can improve results for terms that don’t convert as well as others.
2. Traffic Reports
The traffic reports are another place where the Ecommerce Tracking integration is extremely useful.
In these reports you can answer questions like which channels have the highest average order value, which lead to the highest conversion rates, or which convert the fastest. As an example, you might see that users landing on specific pages are less likely to convert than your typical users. In turn, you could leverage these findings to make updates to these pages and make the path to purchase more clear.
3. Campaign Reports
Complementary to the traffic reports, the campaigns report can help you get a more detailed view of the value of individual campaigns, which convert at the highest rate, which have the highest average order value, and which convert the fastest. These reports help you understand the impact of your marketing efforts at a product-specific level out of the box.
Creating custom reports and the ability to import custom reports others have created are some of the most powerful features of Google Analytics. There is no shortage of great reports that leverage Ecommerce Tracking available in the Solutions Gallery, with well over 1,000 available. To help you get started, I’ve included an example report below with some of the metrics mentioned above.
Use this sample report to start Ecommerce Tracking!