7 reasons to update to e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics

You still haven’t got the improved e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics? 7 reasons why you should update

I’m sure you want to know more about your e-commerce business Our online business is running and Google Analytics can offer us relevant information about it: the conversion rate, the numbers of transactions and products sold. Wouldn’t you like to know more about it? Google Analytics offers you two versions to monitor your…

I’m sure you want to know more about your e-commerce business

Our online business is running and Google Analytics can offer us relevant information about it: the conversion rate, the numbers of transactions and products sold. Wouldn’t you like to know more about it?

Google Analytics offers you two versions to monitor your e-commerce activity: the normal service, which uses the ecommerce.js plug-in, and the improved or enhanced service, which uses the ec.js plug-in.

If we use the normal version for our monitoring we will obtain the basic metrics: number of transactions, conversion rate, revenue, average order value… It’s like having a normal store but without seeing what goes on inside it. We can only see people going in, and the cash register at the end of the day.

However, if we configure the code correctly for improved e-commerce monitoring, we can also see what goes on inside the shop. Which shelves are visited most, which products attract the attention of our clients and which end up being purchased (the most visited ones are not always the best sellers). We can see how many people leave the shop without buying anything after trying on 10 t-shirts, and how many people have bought trousers after trying a shirt on. All this information will tell us what clients are doing in our store: whether the distribution of our products has an effect on the sales achieved, whether our internal promotions are effective or which category product is the most interesting.

Although our store is online, it is a store and we have to observe the behaviour of our clients if we want to improve. No brick and mortar store would put the products which are least attractive for its clients in the shop window. Are we doing that in our online store?

The “normal” version of e-commerce monitoring by Google Analytics gives us information about the last stage in the process, sales.

By using the improved e-commerce version we can analyse the steps leading up to the sale, to understand the behaviour of the user beyond the purchasing process.

I am going to look at 7 reasons for using the improved e-commerce code.

1. Learn how our internal promotions work

I’m sure you have banners and internal promotions. Wouldn’t you like to know how effective they are? What type of creativity works best? Google Analytics gives you information about impressions, CTR and transactions resulting from each promotion.

Information about impression

2. See how discount coupons help sales

You can see whether discount coupons affect the conversion rate, if they increase the average value of sales… Information of great interest when planning strategies for the future.

3. Product information grouped by brand, category or variants.

With its improved e-commerce monitoring, Google Analytics lets you classify products by brand or category, or even by colour. It allows you to see at a glance which brands are most viewed or sold, which product category is most added to the baskets, and if a product is more attractive in a particular colour…

4. New product metrics

Google Analytics adds new product-related metrics: the number of visits to a product file, how often it has been added to a basket, how often it has been eliminated from the basket and how often it has been sold.

The analysis of these metrics helps to understand what our clients want and need.

Ecommerce improved

5. Performance of product lists

Do the related products perform well? Is upselling effective in my store? What about my shop window? These questions are now easier to answer. Improved ecommerce makes it easier to analyse the effectiveness of product lists.

We can obtain reports which we can use to analyse which type of list has more conversions, more views and more clicks. We can see which products from the list were added to the basket and bought.

6. A more complete conversion funnel

We can add options at each step of the conversion funnel to discover, for example, the form of payment used, the form of delivery selected by the client, if the client logged in or not… and at last we can separate the stages of the funnel to carry out a more thorough analysis of the process.

Ecommerce improved

7. Returns data in Google Analytics

We can send Google Analytics data on the number of products or complete orders returned. This will tell us our real profit.

More complete conversion funnel

These are just some of the reasons for updating to the new monitoring code. It can offer you insight into the behaviour of your clients so you can take action towards your principal goal: to sell more.

There is, however, one small drawback: the implementation of the improved e-commerce code is more complicated. Not only will you need a technician to install the code correctly, but a good plan for measuring and implementation to gather data properly in a coherent way. On the other hand, the benefits it offers for the awareness and analysis of our business easily outweighs this problem, which is why I urge you to take the plunge as soon as possible.

To implement the improved e-commerce code appropriately you have to examine the website in detail, as it can monitor:

  • Internal promotions
  • Discount coupons for products as well as orders
  • Associates
  • Products, by category, brand or variant (such as size or colour, for example)
  • Product lists Using lists correctly helps to evaluate their effectiveness and offers suggestions on how to improve them
  • Returns of products or complete orders
  • The purchasing process, adding any information at each stage of the checkout that we consider relevant.

I recommend putting all the information to be measured under titles in one document. Remember that Google Analytics is “case sensitive”, which means that it will distinguish between lists of “Related Products” and “Related products”, putting the data in two different lists.

The code must then be implemented in the page, either by using Tag Manager (https://developers.google.com/tag-manager/enhanced-ecommerce ) or directly in the code (https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/enhanced-ecommerce ). In both case you will need technical support.

To activate the monitoring of improved ecommerce, go to our view in Google Analytics, select “Configure e-commerce” and activate the enhanced e-commerce option. Now you can discover the new way to analyse your e-commerce business.

There are three more things to consider

  1. Data on transactions and products previously gathered on “normal” e-commerce is not lost when you update to Improved E-commerce
  2. In Google’s own words: “The enhanced ecommerce plugin (ec.js) must not be used with the ecommerce plugin (ecommerce.js) on the same property.” (https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/enhanced-ecommerce?hl=es )
  3. The Universal Analytics code version is needed.

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