BlogB2B EcommerceA Guide to Google Analytics For E-Commerce

A Guide to Google Analytics For E-Commerce

Google Analytics is a valuable ally in the e-commerce battle for consumer dollars. The insights it provides contains a wealth of information about your site, your visitors and where they came from. All this information can be used to find new customers and increase conversions.

For many e-commerce entrepreneurs just starting out, Google Analytics can feel like a confusing mess of technical reports and information that’s difficult to navigate and understand.

In this post we will look at exactly how to set up Google Analytics for your store, the basic reports you should be checking and a few other goodies to help supercharge your knowledge and drive sales.

Why You Need Google Analytics

If you owned a physical storefront, you have the ability to see you customer. You can view their habits firsthand and speak with them. Without e-commerce analytics and relevant KPIs, an online store leaves you blind to much information about your visitors and customers you would ordinarily get to see.

Using Google Analytics can better help you understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, better understand your visitors and optimize your store for conversions and sales.

Getting Google Analytics Ecommerce Tracking Set Up

Google Analytics is fairly easy to set up but the exact steps to set it up will depend on your shopping cart. If you’re on the Uniform Program Management or Retail Commerce platform it’s as simple as creating a new account in Google Analytics, copying the tracking code, and pasting it into the SEO Scripts > Google Analytics ID field in your Store Settings page.

Getting A Google Account

To get started with Google Analytics, you’ll first need a Google account. If you already have a Gmail account, you’ll be able to use that. If not, create your Google account.

1. Go to the Google Analytics and click the create an account link in the top right corner.

2. Once you have signed in to Google Analytics, click on create new account. This will set up a new profile to track your e-commerce site analytics.

3. On the next screen, choose Website and complete the required details.

4. Click Get Tracking ID at the bottom of the page to get your tracking code.

5. Open your store Admin and go to “Settings.”

6. Paste the code you copied from Google Analytics into the field provided.

7. Once the code has been added to your site, the final step is to turn on the optional (but very important) ecommerce tracking feature in Google Analytics.

  1. Click Admin from the menu bar at the top of any screen in Google Analytics.
  2. Use the drop-down menus to select your account.
  3. Under the third column, click View Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the Ecommerce Settings section, and click the toggle so it says ON.
  5. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

Note: It can take up to 24 hours for Google Analytics to begin collecting information.

For more information and, step by step details to setting up Google Analytics on the Uniform Program Management or Retail Commerce, please refer to our documentation, send us a support ticket or give us call.

Basic Reports

Google has a lot of reports and those reports can be sliced and diced a hundred different ways. Don’t get overwhelmed though. If you’re just starting out, the basic overview reports contain plenty of great information and insights to get started.

Report categories in Google Analytics are broken down on the left side menu. The most important sections you should get familiar with when just starting out are:

  • Real-Time – Shows you what’s happening on your site in real time.
  • Audience – Tells you more about who is on your site.
  • Acquisition – Tells you how your visitors and customers found and arrived at your site.
  • Behaviour – Tells you important information about your site and what your visitors are doing on your site.
  • Conversions – Tells you more about your sales and conversions.

Keep in mind for all reports (with the exception of Real-Time reports), the default time period is the last 30 days. You can change the reporting period at any point by using the date selector in the top right-hand corner.

Real-Time reporting is a great tool for monitoring website traffic as it happens. This real-time report will show you who is on your site at that very moment, where they came from, their geographic location and what pages they’re browsing.

Real-time is particularly useful for gauging how a social media post, email or campaign is performing, tracking the immediate impact of traffic to your site.

To see Real-Time reporting, click on Real-Time and then Overview in the left hand navigation bar. Overview will give you most of the information on one dashboard but you can drill down a little deeper by selecting one of the other reports under Real-Time, including Locations, Traffic Sources, Content, Events, and Conversions.

What Can You Do With This Information:

Real-Time analytics can be a bit of a novelty, however, there are a few ways you could use this information to make better decisions:

  • See whether a promotion is driving traffic to your site, and which pages visitors are viewing.
  • Monitor the immediate effects on traffic from a blog/email/social network post.

The Audience reports provide insight into the visitors to your ecommerce store. The various reports under Audience will provide you with in-depth insights into the demographics (age, gender), geography (language, location) as well as the technology they’re using to access your site (Mac vs. PC, desktop vs. mobile).

In the Audience Overview report you can see the total number of visitors (referred to as sessions), new vs. returning users (pie chart), and information for each of the following metrics:

  • Sessions – The total number of visitor “sessions” to your site
  • Users – The total number of unique visitors to your site
  • Pageviews – The total number of pages viewed on your site
  • Pages per Session – The average number of pages viewed per session (visit)
  • Average Session Duration – The average amount of time visitors stay on your
  • Bounce Rate – Percent of visitors that leave your site after viewing only one page