Why All Online Retailers Should Be Using Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking

By Amanda Sides | Feb 13, 2013
More Articles by Amanda


As you all know, I’m a huge advocate of Google Analytics. The more insight you can get into your site traffic, the better. So, if you are an online retailer, I hope you have already implemented, or at least have it on your radar to implement Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking. Just like most other Analytics data you can derive, the purpose is essentially to give you more information regarding visitor actions, just now on a more advanced level.

What is Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking?

In a word: Amazing. Ecommerce tracking helps you better understand exactly what visitors are buying, and where they came from before they bought it. Even though it’ll take a bit of work to get it up and running, it will be well worth the extra effort. Through this tracking feature, you’ll be able to see products, transactions, and time to purchase, which are better defined below:

Products: Specifics regarding product purchases, like what they buy, how much, and associated revenue that is generated.

Transactions: Different from products in that each transaction can contain multiple products, GA will report on revenue generated, tax, shipping, and product quantity information for each transaction.

Time to Purchase: GA will report on the time it takes someone to physically make the purchase, reporting on the number of days along with the number of visits.

What can you learn from this data?

All the insight into product and revenue data will help retailers learn where to focus their time and money. Small details, like learning your money is resulting in a larger return from paid search efforts as opposed to others, for instance, might lead to a shift in marketing strategy, which could exponentially increase your revenues generated from online efforts. Without data like this, a lot of what retailers do is guess work. The best part about most online advertising is that you can show cause and effect for every dollar spent more accurately than any other medium. What better way to instill that even further than by reporting on which of those efforts are not only bringing in the most traffic and purchase volume, but having the knowledge of the exact dollar amount those efforts are returning.

You’ll be able to see the product, transaction and revenue breakdown by source (among others) which will give you a better grasp on what types of traffic are working best for you already, where you need to improve, what’s most efficient, telling you to throw more money in that direction, and even where to cut your losses. In the end, your wallet will thank you.

What do you need to do to get started?

First, enable Ecommerce tracking in your Google Analytics account, then implement the tracking codes onto your website or app. Some things to keep in mind:

  • You can track Ecommerce activity across multiple domains, it just takes a few adjustments during set up.
  • Ensure you set things up correctly in the beginning, or you’ll be making decisions based on bad data, which could end badly.
  • You can implement Ecommerce tracking on websites, and both Android and iOS based Apps.

For more detailed information on how to get started with Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking, visit the Google Analytics help center. Share your successes or interests in Ecommerce Tracking through Google Analytics in the comments below, or on twitter with @amandadchaney or @SearchMojo.

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