Google Analytics for ecommerce businesses is no longer optional, it’s mandatory. Well, it is if you have any plans of succeeding in ecommerce. Even if you don’t and are content to go at it very part-time, it’s still a very useful tool to have around so you can measure who visits your site and where they come from. SellerExpress takes a look at this new aspect of Google Analytics and why you should be hopping on board as soon as possible.
Google Analytics: A Recap
Most merchants are no doubt familiar with Google Analytics but just in case, here’s a little rundown of its most important points.
- Tracking: This is the first part of getting started and all you’ll need is a Google account, which you may already have. You’ll next have to set up an account on Google Analytics, link your website, and then copy and paste the tracking code they provide.
- Reports: Remember that Google sometimes takes up to a day to get its ‘tracking robots’ in order, so don’t expect results right away. Once they do start coming in, you’ll be able to monitor information in one of five ways — real time, audience, conversions, behaviour, acquisition. Google will show you information from the last month, but you can change this anytime to have a reporting period exactly how you want. Note: real time is obviously excluded from this.
- Site Search: So far, we’ve covered that it’s good to know where your customers are and what they’re doing at various times, but it’s also important to know what they’re looking for on your site. You’ll have to activate Site Search Tracking but once you do, you’ll be able to see what products shoppers are looking at under the Behaviour setting. Remember to also give this one some time, as Google can take up to a day to start sending numbers your way.
- Campaigns: This part doesn’t come automatically, but setting it up takes no time at all. All you have to do is input the relevant information into Google’s Campaign URL Builder tool, and then presto! You can now track your campaigns!
Google Analytics: Enhanced Ecommerce
It’s pretty spiffy so far, isn’t it? Google Analytics lets you keep track of an awful lot of information on your site so you can tailor your marketing more specifically, letting you get even further ahead than before. With all these elements, what could Google possibly add to make Analytics even better?
In a nutshell, far more detail.
Enhanced Ecommerce consists of four main parts that put even more control in your hands, and they are:
- Shopping and Purchasing Behaviour: One of the most maddening things for merchants is when a shopper loads up their cart with items…and then changes their mind at the last minute and empties it. What happened to that possible conversion? You can now know by getting a report on why/how buyers put items into shopping carts, initiating/abandoning and if/when they go through with the transaction.
- Merchandising Success: One of the factors that strongly affects conversions is how swaying your marketing and campaigns are. It’s never a guarantee that excellent marketing will totally and completely result in sales, but now you’ll be able to see, in black and white, just how successful your internal and external marketing is. This part tracks things like mean order cost, transactions and revenue, and it also works if your shoppers use coupons you’ve issued. Plus, you’ll also be able to track how good you are (or if your strategy needs improvement) at using product lists for merchandise.
- Economic Performance: Money talk — it’s hugely important for measuring the health of your site. In this section, Google will show you things like revenue, conversion rates for individual products, the number of things bought in an average purchase and how much it totalled, any refunds/returns and how buyers load up their shopping carts after eyeing a product on product-detail pages.
- Product Attribution: We briefly mentioned product lists above, and this section helps you better understand that. Ecommerce sites are set up so vastly different from one another, but generally, people look for products either from search results, a merchandising block or on a category page, and this part of Google Analytics helps you target each one accordingly.
It may seem like a lot to take in—at this stage we’re not expecting you to be a Google Analytics guru such as Avinash Kaushik, but sitting down with it for just a little bit of time will help you fine-tune your business model so you can keep climbing the ranks.
* This article originally appeared on SellerExpress