The Future of Advanced Segments in Google Analytics and What It Means For E-commerce Websites

By Scott Garrett | Jul 17, 2013
More Articles by Scott


Advanced segments in Google Analytics give users great insight into the finer points of the type of traffic coming to their website.  These segments allow you to quickly separate and identify subsets of traffic with predefined and custom segments. For example, you can segment traffic based off of paid search traffic or mobile device traffic. However, Google recently announced some major changes to advanced segments that will be coming to Google Analytics in the coming months. The main take away from the announcement is that in the past, advanced segments were based off of visits, but in the future advanced segments will also be based off of user segments (behaviors and demographics). These changes will allow further insight into user behavior for all types of websites; however, I will be specifically discussing the effects that these changes will have in terms of gathering user behavior for e-commerce websites.

Advance Segments | Picard

In the past, advanced segments only allowed you to analyze the behavior of visitors within a single visit. For example, the amount of revenue users generated in a single visit. However, the future improvements to advanced segments will allow you to view cumulative behavior of users over a period of time (with a maximum of 90 days). You will now be able to segment users based off of total monthly spend. In addition, you can combine that segment with other user segments to gain further insight.

For example, you could create an advanced segment of all the users who spent more than $100 dollars on your site during a given month and who were also new visitors to your site that month. Viewing this type of advanced segment in your data reports will allow you to have a more comprehensive understanding of your users. You could add this type of advanced segment to your mobile search traffic report and get a better feel for the purchasing habits of mobile users.

Another example is creating an advanced segment to determine if users from Thornton, Colorado who used a mobile device purchased a specific type of product or product category. This advanced segment could be applied to any report, but for example, if you applied it to the traffic sources overview report, you could see if behavior of users who came from organic search differs compared to the behavior of users who came from paid search.

As you can tell, there are countless advanced segment possibilities that will be available once Google rolls out the new and improved advanced segments in the coming months. With so many choices of new advanced segments, it may be daunting for many users to begin using them. Thankfully, Google has once again created predefined advanced segments that will allow users to easily and quickly isolate subsets of data to analyze.  Here is a screen shot of the new interface for creating an advanced segment in Google Analytics:

New Segment Builder | Google Analytics

The predefined advanced segments will be broken down by different types of dimensions. And look! Google has graciously added an E-commerce tab. The predefined E-commerce advanced segments will allow users to gather more insight faster for their e-commerce website.

Using the new features of advanced segments will help you better understand the purchasing behavior and target demographics of users who visit your site; supplying you with the information you need to more efficiently spend your money targeting users who are more likely and more often to purchase.

Thanks for reading! Are you using advanced segments? Please comment below and follow me at @ScottGarrett89.

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