A Comprehensive 2019 Guide on E-commerce Tracking Using Google Analytics

E-commerce businesses are growing year on year and in case you are a proud owner of a store, then certainly you need to worry about how it performs. Tracking your e-commerce business gets crucial as you try to scale up and expand your sales. Click To Tweet

E-commerce tracking provides you several insights about your website performance and lets you know what you do better than others and what you can improve. Such insights are helpful. They let you know the market trends and what people expect out of your business.

While there are several powerful tools in the market, the most popular one is Google Analytics. Certainly, a not to miss analytics platform. Owned by Google, this was started in 2005 and is purely into web analytics. This is readily available over desktops and you also can use their SDK which is available for iOS and Android. The app is also referred to as “Google Analytics for Mobile Apps”.

Few of the things you can readily track in Google Analytics include:

  1. You can track visitors and return visitors. This can be filtered for specific dates.
  2. Bounce rate can be tracked. This indicates many people who visited your website and left immediately. This is a great insight because it showcases that something is not right over your website which makes people leave your website
  3. You can track the average session duration. Certain pages might have higher session duration as compared to others. This again can give a lot of insights showcasing what people are more interested in looking into.
  4. Source of incoming traffic can be monitored. This helps you understand how your marketing campaigns are performing

With all of this, you can also view the complete user flow. This lets you know how your landing page performs. This can also help you investigate the pain point pages where most people drop off.E-commerce tracking using Google analytics

Having said this, e-commerce tracking using Google analytics is abundant. Over 67 million websites use Google Analytics for website tracking.

Advantages of using Google Analytics for e-commerce tracking

  1. It’s free
  2. It can automatically collect data
  3. It has advanced reporting features
  4. It is easy to use and integrate with other platforms
  5. It can measure internal site search which lets you understand what people search for once they are on your website
  6. It can provide demographic details
  7. It lets you know which social platforms you can target
  8. It lets you check if you are achieving your goals and can help you redefine metrics

E-commerce Tracking via Google Analytics

Google Analytics collects multiple data from your website and categorizes them into 4 major types:

  1. User-level data which includes actions performed by users
  2. Session level data which includes each visit information
  3. Pageview level data which includes individual page visited
  4. Event level data which includes video views, button clicks, link clicks, etc.

Google Analytics gives insights about A(Acquisition),B(Behaviour), C(Conversion) for websites. You can collect information for any website or even a mobile app.Google Analytics Mobile App

As a first step, you need to sign in to Google Analytics account (https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/).

Sign in to Google Analytics account

Next, you can click on Start for free button. Next, you can setup the property details for the website or app for which you need to enable tracking. You will need to define a goal as shown in the below example.

Setup the property details

Once this is set, you can also setup a reporting view. You can setup e-commerce specific reporting. Both online, as well as offline actions, can be captured via Google analytics.

Google Analytics will provide you instructions on how to add analytics code to your website or mobile app. You can add this and also setup a few basic security permissions and user management as per your requirement. The different menus available over here are:

Different menus

The overview tab gives a glance of all details happening for your e-commerce business. This shows stats at a basic level as well as certain details such as transaction rates, conversions, coupon codes redeemed, etc. as shown below.

Overview tab

One of the most important things about using Google Analytics is to view the different channels. This can be viewed by clicking on Acquisition-> All Traffic ->Channels.

Different channels

Here you can view the different channels and the metrics for each.

Different channels and the metrics

This can give you insights on which channel is driving the most traffic for your store. In the above example, Paid search is the highest performing channel.

You can click on Acquisition-> All Traffic->Treemaps to get different views about your data and other metrics.

Treemaps

Here you can have a comparison between primary and secondary metrics.

Primary and secondary metrics

Primary metrics include the above-listed values. Similarly, secondary metrics include:

Primary metrics

There are different ways in which you can view this data which can be seen on the extreme right.

Different ways to view the data

This includes:

  • Data
  • Pie Chart
  • Performance measures
  • Comparisons
  • Pivot chart

You can view the data based on specific dimensions.

View the data based on dimensions

Google analytics constantly uses terms Metrics and Dimensions. Metrics are all the data that Google Analytics captures from the website, while the dimension is the various ways you can view this data to get numbers that can provide insights about your business.

Over here you can see several dimensions including session-specific and bounce rates.

Several dimensions

The shopping behavior tab as shown below shows stats for new visitor’s v/s return customers. As can be seen below this gives session wise information. This also gives insights about card abandonment. In the below example 1632 sessions have used their cart, whereas 840 have abandoned cart.

288 have abandoned after adding to the cart and while check out.

Shopping behavior tab

In the Customization option, you can create the report based on your preference.

Customization option

Create the report based on your preference

Here you can create custom reports as well as alerts. Similarly, you can get the tracking code and other details as shown below:

Create custom reports

The code snippet provided by Google analytics needs to be embedded to your e-commerce platform. Most e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce provide a separate tab to add the Google analytics code. If this does not exist then you can add a plugin for Google analytics such as Insert Header and Footer plugin available for WordPress.

Plugin for Google analytics

Such plugins show up on every page and can enable effective tracking. Platforms such as Shopify has a Google Analytics code addition tab as shown below.

Shopify has a Google Analytics

While this enables setting up on your website, you also need to enable e-commerce tracking from Google Analytics.

Read More- Importance of google analytics for e-commerce tracking

In Google Analytics you can go to the Admin tab.

Admin tab

Over here you will find E-commerce settings as shown in the above snapshot. Here you just need to enable e-commerce tracking.

Enable e-commerce tracking

If required, over here you can also enable other features to get advanced reporting using Enable Enhanced E-commerce reporting.

Enable Enhanced E-commerce reporting

Moving on next, Google Analytics has good reporting features and you can completely customize the report. As shown below you can add a new report and customize it based on the dimensions of your choice.

Add a new report and customize

You can view real-time reports here as shown below. This gives a snapshot of the current traffic and the source of the traffic. Also includes stats about active pages, keywords consistently used to reach your website and locations from where people visit your website.

Real-time reports

You can also view an audience report as shown below. This is a report which is of great importance if you are focusing to get more demographic information. While this speaks about the session, user information, you can also find a lot of demographic details such as language, territory, etc. To add on this also can drill down further and provide technical details such as what browser was used to visit your website.

Audience report

You can get a consolidated view of the complete website performance using the Acquisition report. This, as can be seen below, gives metrics related to Acquisition, Behaviour, and Conversion. From here you can also understand what are the top-performing channels.

Acquisition Report

For an e-commerce business, you can view checkout behavior analysis. This gives a clear number of how many people are dropping off at every stage. A good insight to let you improve your website and optimize the checkout process.

Below are the options that are available specifically for e-commerce.

Options Available for Ecommerce

As can be seen below that most drop off are happening at billing and shipping.

Drop off

For e-commerce, you can see the Product Performance tab. This gives granular details of how a product performs. As seen below you can see metrics related to the number of products, average price, and the unique purchases.

Product Performance tab

The Sales Performance tab shows detailed sales and transactional information. This can be tracked for each order. Here you get metrics for each product revenue, along with tax, shipping costs,and refunds.

This gives an exact revenue amount of product-wise as shown below.

Sales Performance tab

Conclusion

E-commerce tracking can be effectively done via Google Analytics which can provide powerful insight reports.

While there are several other analytics tools available in the market, Google Analytics certainly tops the list and is one of the favorite tracking tools for website and most importantly online stores. Click To Tweet

One thought on “A Comprehensive 2019 Guide on E-commerce Tracking Using Google Analytics

  1. Installing Google Analytics into your website for ecommerce tracking is quite easy, all it takes is your Google account (we don t recommend using a personal one) and some time to set up tracking code onto each page of your website.

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