Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools out there for measuring the traffic influx on your site. Even the most basic options that the tool offers provide you the necessary information about the visitors and their interactions with your website. This helps you identify the problems areas of your website and understand and identify the problem areas as to why the visitors are not being converted into customers.
According to Acquire, the 7 most common problem areas in ecommerce websites are:
- An absence of Online Identity Verification
- Competitor Analysis
- Maintaining customer’s loyalty
- The headache of product return and refund
- The struggle of competing on price and shipping
- Competing against retailers and manufacturers
- Problem of Data Security
For most businesses, the information provided is sufficient, but for an e-commerce website, the way a customer interacts with the site isn’t usually the full story. A business needs to understand how their actions affect their sales on different products. Google Analytics for e-commerce can help you understand all this, but it has to be set up to facilitate e-commerce tracking.
BASIC STEPS TO SET UP YOUR GOOGLE ANALYTICS ACCOUNT AND E-COMMERCE TRACKING
Firstly, you have to have a Google Analytics account. Sign in and connect your e-commerce store to your Google Analytics account. Different platforms connect differently with Google Analytics. Identify the platform you are using and take the required steps to connect with Google Analytics. Some platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce offer built-in solutions to connect with Google Analytics whereas WooCommerce requires an additional plugin to connect.
Once it has been set up, Google Analytics will start accumulating data from your website. It will take some time to populate your account with your site data so hold your horses.
SET UP E-COMMERCE TRACKING
After setting up Google Analytics for your e-commerce store, there are a few more things that you’d have to do before you get complete access to the rudimentary information regarding sales, purchases and most popular products.
In order to enable e-commerce tracking go to the account settings. You can find that by clicking the ‘Admin’ button on the bottom left corner of your screen and then clicking on ‘View Settings’. Choose ‘E-commerce Settings’ and you’ll see something similar to this:
Use the toggle button under the ‘Enable Ecommerce’ tab to ‘ON’. Click on ‘Next step’ and then click on ‘Submit’. Now your Google account will begin tracking your e-commerce data.
As you can see above, there is an enhanced Ecommerce Settings option as well that provides you with additional reports in the Ecommerce section but since Enhanced e-commerce isn’t for everyone, we’d stick to the basics in this blog post.
To find an overview of your data, go to Conversions->Ecommerce->Overview
This page would provide you with detailed data about your visitors as well as your store’s performance.
- PRODUCT & SALES PERFORMANCE
The product performance tab is what is loved by the marketers or business owners. It provides statistics on the revenue generated by each product. This makes it easier for the business to focus on their marketing strategy, optimize their web presence for wherever they are located or wherever they operate, as well as helps them plan for the future. If a certain category is performing really well on the website and has a huge number of unique purchases, that could be the key to upscale that category to generate greater revenue. Similarly for the products/categories that aren’t performing too well, a business owner has to take a closer look at why aren’t they performing as expected.
Sales performance tab provides sales and transactional information about individual products that have been sold on the website.
How to Improve the Sales of My Product?
There are 3 concepts that, if integrated into your ecommerce website, can help improve your product sales by leaps and bounds:
Keyword usage: remember that Google also recognizes synonyms, which means you just have to write well when you describe your product. In short, write well for humans and this will do the trick
User experience: make sure your ecommerce website’s pages are all easy-to-use on all kinds of devices
Depth and value of content: write useful, quality descriptions that offer value to the customer.
When I type “buy knitwear online for fall usa” in Google search, for example, the first organic search result I see is of the sweater category for H&M USA.
Evidently, the meta description is well formed and both the meta description AND its title have the necessary keywords in them.
When I click on the link, I am led straight to what I was looking for, i.e. sweaters/knitwear, without having any unnecessary pop-ups or ads. Its design is simple, minimal and contains no distractions (from a customer point of view). It provides a simple user experience without any clutter.
- IMPORTANT STATS YOU SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO
When you open your Google Analytics account, you would be displayed a general overview of your website.
- The large blue graph in the middle shows the number of times your website was visited during the defined date range. A session is considered as each time a visitors browses through your website.
- At the top right corner, you would be shown your selected date range. You can change this date range to the time period you require the data for. There is also a comparison option for two different date ranges.
- Below the sessions graph, you will see information about your website eg: The number of unique visitors your website received during the specified time range. How many page views these visitors generated. Average time spent on the website and the bounce rate of the visitors. Bounce rate is how quickly the visitor leaves your website.
All the above mentioned information provides a general overview of the ecommerce store that is attached to the Google Analytics account. These statistics are necessary for any store owner to develop their strategies as they provide a deeper insight into the behavior of the customers.
Users are often observed to abandon their carts due to horrible ecommerce experiences which can be avoided by correcting a few things on your ecommerce website. One of the most important things being the checkout process, which can be improved through checkout behavior analysis.
The checkout behavior analysis in Google Analytics will help you determine where the visitor dropped off during the checkout process. This will help you optimize your checkout method and improve the UX.
They key, hence, is to simplify the checkout process as much as you can and make it informative. One of the ways to do it is to include all essential details, that you think the customer may want to know, during their checkout process. For example, when I visit this online boutique, Sophie and Trey to buy a crop top, here is what I experience once I’ve chosen which crop top I want to buy:
- Original price AND discounted price (so I won’t have to go back and forth on the website to check how much discount I’m getting and what the original price of the product was, which will help strengthen my decision to make the purchase)
- The size of the product along with showing the sizes that are NOT available; this knowledge will spare me of facing disappointment after I click Add to Cart and getting informed that my desired size is not available. If I am a small or a medium for example, I will not proceed and my time and energy will be saved.
- The options like Size Chart, Return Policy, Reviews are all there to facilitate me there and then.
- Product description AND the height of the model wearing it, so that I am not misled into buying something that looks like a good fit on the model but might not fit me if I am considerably taller or shorter than 5”4.
- CUSTOMER ACQUISITION
As a business owner, you haveto understand what brings in the visitors. Scrutinizing the traffic sources and then building your marketing strategy around that traffic source can give a huge boost to your sales. Visitors and purchases usually (but not always) go hand in hand. Getting people to visit your ecommerce store is the first step that any e-commerce entrepreneur has to take.
To see your visitor statistics go to Acquisition->All Traffic->Source/Medium
As shown above, you can see a detailed overview of your traffic sources. In the above example, Google leading the charts for the traffic source which means that the e-commerce store is appearing in organic search results. In this case, strengthening the SEO strategy would reap greater rewards in terms of sales.
The platforms or traffic channels which are underperforming also hold valuable information for the business owner. If the traffic channel is not performing up to the mark, you should take a closer look at why it isn’t yielding the desired results and revamp your strategy on that particular source of traffic.
The shopping behavior tab will provide you information about new vs. returning visitors and their behavior when they are shopping on your ecommerce website.
According to Magneto, 61% eCommerce businesses fail each year due to lack of strategy. Hence, it is imperative that you draft your ecommerce strategy with care and make sure that you conduct regular analysis to see what is working for you and what is not.
Google Analytics for e-commerce business owners is different than it is for the owner of other businesses like restaurants or service providers. The ROIs in an ecommerce business are solely measured on the number of sales and the cost of acquisition. The focus in Google Analytics for Ecommerce is on revenue, transactions and how the visitors behave on the website.
The behavior is then translated into rectifying the shortcomings in the website or the business model and drive sales. Setting up Analytics for ecommerce is a little time consuming but it provides very valuable information about the business that could benefit the business in generating a greater number of sales.
Hopefully this Step by step guide to google analytics for your ecommerce store is clear and concise for you.
Don’t thank us. Thank jenny Harrison below.
Jenny Harrison is a passionate marketing and business blogger. She loves to engage with readers who are seeking B2B and B2C marketing related information on the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community. Currently she is associated with an Orlando based SEO Company ‘PNC Digital’. Follow her on twitter @MJennyHarrison for more updates.
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