Google Analytics for eCommerce: An Advanced Guide
If you’re running an eCommerce business, it’s essential for you to track everything that happens in your website. In fact, tracking every small detail of your customer’s activities will give you better insight on their preferences and other factors that can improve their overall site experience and chances of making a purchase.
Out of all the e-commerce website analytics tools existing today, Google Analytics still remains the most inexpensive yet efficient way to manage data.
If you’re already using Google Analytics for data collection and analysis, you might be missing out on advanced details that tell a story about your customers.
This guide will walk you through the advanced features of Google Analytics so that you can use it to your advantage.
Customize Advanced Segments
Customized advanced segments allow you to organize data that Google Analytics collects from your e-commerce website. Here are some examples of segments you can customize to your advantage:
Nowadays, influencer marketing has a considerable impact on any type of business. In the US, surveys suggest that around 30% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if it is endorsed by a blogger.
Compare that to the mere 3% purchase consideration of an in-store product endorsed by a celebrity, and you clearly see how influencer marketing is replacing traditional advertising in its impact on driving sales.
As it is essential for eCommerce businesses to understand how well their social presence is contributing to their bottom line, tools like Google Analytics must be utilized to track social media traffic and corresponding sales yield. The sales yield is a figure that indicates the amount you pay for every direct sale on a social network.
Here’s how to do this:
Use this in the RegEx text input.
(you can exclude social networks you’re not using.)
This helps you build an accurate social media segment that you can access quickly from your dashboard.
Long Tail Keywords
These keywords have low search volume. However, the moment customers use them, it’s also easier for your eCommerce website or pages to come out in search results. This is especially true with descriptive and location-semantic “buy” keywords.
Using long-tail keywords in your eCommerce PPC or SEO campaigns is useful to capture leads who know specifically what they want, rather than users who are still in the discovery phase. To measure long tail keyword performance, you can add them as custom dimension segments in Google Analytics.
The regular expression indicates that the report will only show you keywords that are greater than two words, as the figure enclosed in the braces indicates. If you change this figure, you can track less or more keywords.
Setting Up Multiple Goal Conversion Tracking
In an eCommerce site, it’s important to keep tabs on various metrics like page views, bounce rate, and others. But if you really want to look at conversion – how your channels impact your sales – you have to track, measure, and compare metrics that are the most relevant to your bottom line.
Once you identify which goals to track, Google Analytics’ default reports will provide you with a synthesis of the metrics, which will be critical to your decision-making process.
Fortunately, goal tracking is simple to do in Analytics. Here’s how:
- Name your goal
- Add your Conversion Tracking URL (the registration routes available on your website)
- For multiple tracking URLS, just follow the same process but add the last URL segment in the “Match Type” field with “Regular Expression Match” selected.
Measure Micro Conversions
Sales are not the only proof of conversion you should be tracking; micro conversions are just as important to know about. These include any action that relates to your objectives – the number of signups for your newsletter, the number of ebook or app downloads, and even the amount of time spent on a lead page or a product page can provide you with an idea of how many users are showing interest in your brand.
Micro conversions signify that a prospect is getting closer and closer to the macro conversion point – purchasing the product or service. Hence, you can engage these users further. You can retarget them via social media or an email marketing campaign.
You can set up event goals, duration goals, and pages per session to gather micro conversion data in your Google Analytics report. Dedicate a certain time per week to analyze these metrics so that you can keep track of your user journey and come up with solutions for any gaps.
Cross Domain Tracking
In eCommerce, sometimes it’s necessary to do cross-domain tracking, which refers to measuring a goal apart from the ones on your main website. This gives you a total picture of the important metrics you need.
Say, for instance, you are running a blog and you want to be able to sell a product or service to your visitors. Instead of migrating your whole website to a new platform, you can embed a third-party shopping cart platform on your main site.
Without cross-domain tracking, this setup – shopping and checkout – won’t get linked together. With this feature, you can track the metrics from the checkout and use Google Analytics to report it back to the account of your main website.
To take a deeper look at how to do cross-domain tracking, check out Google’s guide.
Annotating Your Data
Annotations allow you to provide explanations, analytic conjectures, and theories on spikes, unusual traffic, and possible effects of offline endeavors that your e-commerce business might be involved in (such as TV and radio commercials or events).
Here’s how to create annotations:
Intelligence events help you identify certain unknown yet possibly beneficial events. By informing you of unusual events, or even day-to-day anomalies (e.g., traffic rate suddenly goes down), you can gain insights that will help you decide how to approach needs and deliver solutions.
Using Intelligence Events is relatively simple. Here’s how:
- Go to Customization > Custom Alerts. This option can be found on the top-left corner of the screen.
- Click Manage Custom Alerts
- Click New Alert
- Indicate your specific parameters
With Intelligence Events, you can determine the period to be recorded, traffic segments, and which data to observe. You can assign certain values that warrant an alert.
Hence, you can easily study (and be alerted) when there are changes in traffic, revenue, session duration, and others.
Understand Best Selling Products & Product Categories
- do you know what you’re best selling products are? What about best-selling product categories?
- How do you know when to double down in a product category and expand your range?
- Google Analytics can help with this.
- Go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance
You then will have two useful options to select (amongst others)
- Primary Dimension: Product
This will give you a summary of the sales data for each product
- Primary Dimension: Product Category (Enhanced Ecommerce)
This will give you a summary of the sales data for each product category
Understand Users Flow
In Google Analytics, the data is usually presented in various reports and graphs. Users Flow is a bit different in that it gives you a visualization of the data.
Pretty neat, right?
Users Flow is a visual representation of your users’ movements – showing you their starting point, the navigation paths they took, all the way to how they exited the site.
With Users Flow, you can check how many people are viewing products, adding products to cart, reaching the checkout stage, completing a transaction.
All of these can help you understand how users are interacting with your website, and it can help you identify problems along the conversion funnel.
For example, if there is a big drop off rate between users viewing the checkout and then users completing a transaction, it could mean there is a problem with your checkout page. e.g broken page elements, shipping is too expensive, not enough trust signals (think credit card logos, website security / SSL).
Understanding the Users Flow can help you solve issues to further improve your site.
Like any tool, Google Analytics is extremely useful if you maximize its features. This advanced guide focuses on in-depth data collection on metrics that will help you improve your insight on customer preferences, their purchasing behavior, and overall purchases on your websites.
The good thing about Google Analytics is that you won’t need to know coding to track your customers. Just paste the given codes in their respective areas, and you’re all set for advanced tracking.
While this guide only features some of the advanced GA features, there are more ways to look into your customer’s behaviors in-depth. All these trackers require only a one-time setup, and you can modify them quickly and easily in the future.
Author Bio: Danielle Canstello is party of the content marketing team at Pyramid Analytics. They provide enterprise level analytics and business intelligence software. In her spare time, she writes around the web to spread her knowledge of the marketing, business intelligence and analytics industries.