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Using the Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics

Ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics lets you view information about revenue producing transactions in the context of analytics metrics and dimensions. To view these reports, enhanced ecommerce needs to be implemented on the site. Once this is done, business owners can see what happens from the moment a visitor arrives on the site to the moment of making a purchase or abandoning their shopping cart.   Online-Shopping’-Escalates-To-a-Brand-new-Level

Before setting this up, or digging into the data, businesses must determine their ecommerce plan outside of Google Analytics. Team members need to think first about their business goals and KPIs.  With ecommerce sites, clearly selling on the website is an important tactic and success metrics would include sales by revenue, average order value, and revenue per customer.  However, a business may also want to segment data by things like what type of product sold the most or how different visitors behaved. All measurements should focus on how overall behavior influences KPIs.

Measuring Sessions vs Users

When reviewing data, it can be segmented by users within a specific date range. Site owners may want to segment users who did make a purchase over multiple sessions compared to those who did not. On the other hand, with a session measurement, it is about a user during a single session rather than over time. One way to examine this segment is by traffic source to determine if behavior was different for AdWords versus organic.

Use funnels to see the good…

Funnels show how different channels work together to lead to a purchase. Cynics of social media often see it as a waste of time because it does not lead to any real revenue.  This can be true for some, but at least with the multi-channel funnel overview, you can see if social media led to a sale eventually. Visitors may not have gone immediately from Facebook to making a purchase on the site, but Facebook could have been used somewhere in their path toward conversion as an “assisted conversion.”

…and the not-so-good

A funnel can also show when a visitor drops out of the process, which is equally valuable to know. If a number of visitors add items to their cart with intent to purchase, but then drop out when they get to shipping, it is possible your shipping costs are viewed as prohibitive. Another example is when someone gets ready to buy and they are forced to create an account rather than checkout as guest. Some visitors may not care, however first time buyers may not want to go through this step because they are overwhelmed with the number of log-ins they already have. That funnel lets you make assumptions about a buyer’s behavior by displaying this path.

Understand the full journey

The Shopping Behavior Report records behavior throughout the site.  It shows metrics for the entire visitor journey, not just the point of purchase. With this report, you can view other valuable data like which products caught the visitor’s attention.

online-shopping-ecommerceUnderstand the checkout experience

The Checkout Behavior report hones in on the checkout process and focuses on what customers do when they have a product in their shopping cart. A fair amount of time should be spent understanding this section because the checkout process is where revenue happens. This is a key area to fix if many of your shoppers choose not to complete the purchase process. On the positive, you can also look for successes to replicate.

View popular products

Product performance provides the quantity and revenue for your different product categories, SKU, or product name. Determining how to view the data depends on how a company groups their product line. One way to use this data is to examine a category of products that seem to sell much better than other ones.  It could have to do with the traffic sources or due to one category being marketed much more heavily than the others.

If a low-cost product category is popular, that could be a place to include some advertising to upsell the higher cost products.

Understanding how much money is being generated by your site is about much more than the final dollar amount. By honing into the ecommerce reports, you can understand the customer’s behavior to make your marketing message more appealing and check for leaks on the site so you can make improvements to the usability.  The key to successful analytics data is taking the time to slice and dice the different segments.

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