With Ecommerce booming at a phenomenal rate everyone from aunties to the next door neighbours are selling online and I frequently get asked how to help setup Google Analytics for online stores.
Revenue focused businesses like Ecommerce live and die on solid web analytics. After all how can you improve if you’re not measuring your site’s performance?
Free applications like Google Analytics (GA) are crucial.. It can help you make more sales, increase customer lifetime value and move ahead of your competition.
If you run an Ecommerce store and want to build a strong foundation in analytics this post is for you.
We’ll cover basic GA customizations every Ecommerce store needs. I assume you’ve got GA installed and are ready to get more from your analytics. If you’re ready, lets go…
This an ever evolving post that will continually update with more resources to help Ecommerce sites with Google Analytics
Goals are important for determining what success looks like for your site. You can’t improve your site if you’re not measuring how well it’s performing so well defined Goals within Google Analytics is incredibly important.
Goals work by first defining a successful action you’d like to track which Google Analytics will then record every time it occurs.
So what sort of Goals can you setup? There are 4 types of Goals in Google Analytics
- URL Destination
A goal is recorded when a visitor reaches a specific URL like a Shopping Cart page or Email Subscription Page
- Visit Duration
A goal is recorded when a visitor stays on your site for a certain number of seconds like 180 seconds (3 minutes)
A goal is recorded when a visitor views a certain number of pages within a single visit like 3 different pages in one visit.
A goal is recorded when a specific event occurs. This can be something such as a button being clicked (e.g email subscription button). Implementing event tracking can be slightly technical so we recommend placing this on the back burner till you get comfortable with analytics.
URL destination goals are the most commonly used for Ecommerce sites. You’ll want to track when a customer reaches a payment Thank You page for example. This indicates a successful sale which you definitely want to know about.
Over time you can measure what percent of visitors convert into sales and progressively improve your stores conversion rates.
Other things you could be interested in are Visit Duration goals. The length of time visitors stay on your site has some correlation to how engaged they are. Seeing how many visitors stay for more than 3 minutes is a good way to see benchmark how engaging your store is.
Measuring goals is great but what about the steps to reaching that goal, shound’t we measure that? That’s what Google Analytics funnels does. Funnels allow you to visualize how effective your path to a Goal is performing, tracking how many people leak out at each stage. Funnels work only with URL Goals (see above).
So let’s say you want to measure how effective your checkout process is. You first set your Goal as the Payment Success page. From there you add the steps to reach that Goal (Shopping Cart, Shipping Details Page, Shipping Options Page, Payment Details Page).
These reports can unearth some gems. Maybe your shipping prices are too high and you find a big drop off at the shipping options page. That should prompt you to play around with lower shipping prices or maybe Free Shipping.
Whatever URL Goal you have that requires multiple steps can be tracked via a funnel so get creative!
Advanced segments is a great feature that allows you to isolate specific sets of data to analyse separately from everything else. For example, when you first log into Google Analytics you’ll find all your traffic from around the web gets clumped together.
What if you want to analyse just traffic from Facebook? That’s when you use Advanced Segments.
Using simple And Or statements, you can put together some pretty powerful advanced segments that will allow you to analyse specific sets of data more intentionally.
Other variations of advanced segments could be traffic from email newsletters, traffic from a blog that wrote about your products or anyone who first arrived on your site via a blog post.
Google Analytics has some native reports already setup in your account. You’ll find them on the left hand column covering things like what are your top landing pages and a break down of your traffic sources.
The problem is that these reports are hard to customize and you’ll find them lacking when you get more robust reports.
For example you want a report that gives you an overview of all your traffic sources and how many conversions are coming from each source. Custom Reports allows you to do this.
Click on Custom Reports up the top nav menu and select create new custom report. From there you have a few options.
I suggest jumping first to the dimension drilldowns which is what you want to track (the rows in your table). In this example I want to track the traffic sources so I’ve selected sources. I’ve also selected drilldowns like source/medium and keyword so I can see the exact word’s coming from SEO and PPC.
Next select the metric groups which are the numbers you want to measure against (the columns in your table). in this example I want to measure visits, pages/visit, average visit duration, the ecommerce conversion rate and quantity.
Give it a name, save it and this is what you should get . A custom report giving you the details you want to see. You can even include the goals you’ve set up (see above) as a metric group.
Google Analytics has a special feature just for Ecommerce sites that allows you to carry across revenue numbers into your analytics account. You’ll appreciate this feature as it allows you to see the amount of revenue generated by different traffic sources, across different months etc.
Google has a small instructional guide here.
There’s lots to explore with Google Analytics and this just the tip of the iceberg on the insights Ecommerce sites can uncover. We’ll continuously update this guide with more info over time so be sure to check back!
If you need help setting up Google Analytics on your Ecommerce site Tweaky is offering a service to get you up and running with a full orientation skype call included.
Get a free quoteDescribe the changes you want made and we will send you a free quote