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Google Analytics For Ecommerce: What Does It Do And Why You Need It For Your Shopify Store

Google Analytics Data

Are you an e-commerce business owner looking to get the most out of your Shopify store? Then you need Google Analytics!

With effective data collection and analysis, Google Analytics can give powerful insights into customer behavior on your website and help increase conversions.

Once you learn how customers interact with your site, you’ll be able to optimize their experience for maximum success. But is it hard to work with Google Analytics for ecommerce?

Well, it can be overwhelming initially, but there’s nothing to worry about.

We’re here to get you acquainted with its amazing features so you can make Google Analytics an integral part of your marketing strategy!

This blog post will talk about Google Analytics, how to set up a Google Analytics account, and how to use Google Analytics.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It gives you valuable insights into the performance of your website, including the number of visitors and what websites they came from.

You can also use Google Analytics to measure sales and conversions, track user behavior on your website, analyze how visitors find your website, and much more. All this data can be used to optimize your website for better user experience and higher conversions.

But if you’re still on the fence and wondering if you really need Google Analytics for ecommerce, there are a few key benefits that make it worth investing in.

Let’s cover them one by one.

Why Do You Need Google Analytics For Ecommerce?

Like every SEO tracking tool, Google Analytics ecommerce tracking is on point. It lets you track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as total sales, average order value (AOV), conversion rate, and so on.

But there are a few other benefits that make Google Analytics stand out from the rest.

1. Track User Behavior & Learn About Customer Journey:

To better understand how users interact with your website, you need to track their behavior on each page.

Google Analytics allows you to track user activity on your site, such as when they click a link, add items to their shopping cart, or leave at the checkout page.

All of this information helps you understand what happens when a user lands on your website. You can use this behavior information to improve the user experience and optimize your pages for higher conversions.

2. Segment Your Target Audience:

Google Analytics allows you to segment your audience and target different segments with customized campaigns. How?

The tool gives you a detailed insight into your customers’ demographics and shows you the following:

Age Range:

Track whether your visitors are in the 18-25, 26-35, 36-45 age groups, etc. Use this information to tailor your brand’s language and content to the right audience.

Gender:

Find out if you have more male or female visitors and cater your website’s design and messages to them accordingly.

Locations:

Discover where your visitors are located and create campaigns that speak to their culture and interests.

Device Usage & OS:

Learn what devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) or operating systems your customers use and optimize your website for those users. Plus, you can also sell them products related to the devices they use.

Interests:

See what interests your visitors outside of your website. This can help create better content, deals, upsells, and a lot of exciting stuff for them.

You can use this data to create custom campaigns for each segment, which can lead to increased conversion rates.

3. Identify The Traffic Source:

Google Analytics tracks where your visitors come from. This helps you identify the most successful traffic sources, such as:

  • Email
  • Referral traffic
  • Google ads
  • Social
  • Organic search
  • Internal traffic and other marketing channels

On top of that, Google Analytics lets you see weekly and monthly data so you can know if a traffic source’s performance is increasing or decreasing over time.

Once you know where your visitors come from, you can adjust your strategy to focus more on the most successful channels while also improving the less successful ones.

For example, if you’re getting more traffic from email campaigns than Facebook Ads, you could try tweaking your ad copy and match it to what’s working on emails.

Similarly, if you’re not getting enough traffic from organic sources like Google, it means you need to work on your SEO.

Overall, Google Analytics traffic report is one of the finest ecommerce tracking features.

4. Track Your Money (Sales and Revenue Data)

Google Analytics for ecommerce is essential for tracking your ecommerce store’s money.

After all, if you don’t know how much revenue you’re making, then how do you know if your business is successful or not?

Google Analytics gives you detailed insights into total sales, most popular products, average order value (AOV), and more.

However, besides tracking (and counting) your total revenue, you can also use Google Analytics to track:

  • How did someone land on your landing page?
  • Which landing page is performing the best?
  • Which product is selling faster than the others?
  • Where do customers back out before final payment?

All of this data helps you know where the money is coming from and where you need to improve.

5. Analyze Your Marketing Campaigns

Google Analytics gives you the advantage of actively tracking all of your store’s digital marketing campaigns, even those not involving Google AdWords or AdSense!

You can monitor how people interact with your landing pages and sources of campaigns to make a purchase. For instance, if your sales funnel includes a video and a customer completes the purchase after watching it, Google Analytics would track it as well. You will know how many people did or did not buy after watching your video or engaging with your ad.

Having this in-depth data analysis allows you to identify which funnels are the most successful, as well as those that aren’t performing. So, you can then run variations of your ads or copy and conduct A/B tests to find out the best one.

This will, in turn, allow you to spend your marketing budget wisely.

6. Enhance Your SEO

Google Analytics also helps you understand which keywords are giving you the most traffic and conversions.

You can use this information to optimize your site’s content and make sure you are targeting the most appropriate keywords.

You can also use Google Analytics to track organic traffic, which is how much of your total traffic comes from search engine results. This can give you an idea of how well your content is doing on the SERPs and which specific keywords should be your focus.

You can even use the data to identify potential link-building opportunities, as well as improve your organic traffic by targeting high-value keywords.

Overall, Google Analytics can help you enhance the SEO of your ecommerce store and make it easier for customers to find you.

Related article: The Complete Shopify SEO Guide To Rank Your Website On Google In 2023

7. Make Data-Driven Decisions:

The data that you get from Google Analytics can help you make informed and data-driven decisions about how to grow your business and move it forward.

From getting insights into how customers interact with your site to finding the highest-selling products and traffic sources that bring in the most traffic, Google Analytics can help you determine which strategies are the most successful and focus your efforts on those while also testing out new ones.

Overall, it’s an invaluable tool that lets you track ecommerce data, optimize your ecommerce website, and maximize sales.

These are just some of the ways you can use Google Analytics to gain an advantage in the ecommerce industry.

Now, let’s get to the technical part and see how you can set up a Google Analytics account for your online store.

How To Set Up Google Analytics For Your Ecommerce Store? (A Step By Step Guide)

Setting up a Google Analytics account for your ecommerce store is relatively easy and straightforward. All you need to do is follow the steps listed below.

1. Create A Google Account

The first step is to create a regular Gmail account. This account will be used to log into your Google Analytics dashboard.

So, if you don’t already have a Gmail account, create one and jump on to the Google Analytics page. There, you’ll see a blue button at the top right corner saying, “Get started today.” Hit the button and start your account setup.

Tip 1: Create a separate Gmail account for your online businesses. This is to make sure you don’t miss important updates in the sea of promotional emails on your personal account.

Tip 2: If you want an agency to manage marketing and ecommerce tracking for your online business, don’t let them make a Gmail account for you.

Make an account for yourself and grant them access to manage it for you.

2. Sign Up For Google Analytics

Once you’ve hit the Get started today button, you would be prompted to set up Google Analytics.

This will get you a new profile to start your Google Analytics ecommerce tracking.

Add your name or your business’ name in the “Account name” section and hit “Next.”

From there, you would need to add a new “property.”

In case you already have an analytics account, go to Admin and then hit the “+ Create Property” button to add a new property.

On the next screen, you will be prompted to fill in the following about your property:

  • name
  • currency
  • reporting time zone

Pro Tip: Head to advanced options and turn the Universal Analytics property switch on.

Then, add your website URL and choose the option that says, “Create both a Google Analytics 4 and a Universal Analytics property.”

What’s that?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s analytics platform. It provides more insights and features than you would find on Universal Analytics (pre-existing version). For instance, it offers more data analysis options, such as customer journey tracking and conversion forecasting.

Once you’ve selected the GA4 and UA option, click “Next” and fill out information related to your online business. Then, hit “Create” to generate your Tracking ID.

From there on, you just have to accept Google’s terms and conditions and hit “Finish.”

3. Install Your Google Analytics Tracking Code

Once you’ve completed the above step, you’ll get your Tracking ID and a Website Tracking code. This code is what you need to enable ecommerce tracking on your ecommerce site.

But don’t get puzzled to see that long, complicated piece of text.

You just need to copy and paste it on your website’s <head>.

What’s <head>?

It’s a section holding code for different functions of the website.

Depending on the platform your site is built on (e.g., WordPress, Shopify), you would need to install the tracking code differently.

For instance, if your online store is built on WordPress, you can use plugins such as MonsterInsights to quickly and easily install the tracking code.

Similarly, the process is simple for Shopify store owners. Navigate to Online Store > Preferences, and paste your tracking code in the Google Analytics Account field.

That’s it — your website is almost set to track your ecommerce analytics.

Note: Google Analytics may take up to 24 hours to actually start recording data for ecommerce analytics.

However, you need to let Google Analytics know your ecommerce tracking goals.

4. Set Up Goals In Google Analytics

Before you can start ecommerce tracking in Google, you would need to set clear goals inside Google Analytics. Why?

Because goals are actually your baseline to measure your ecommerce metrics over time.

What are Goals?

Let’s say you want to track the number of people who landed on your landing page and actually bought that specific product. You will need to set a distinct goal for the purpose in order for Google Analytics ecommerce tracking to actually measure the results.

Similarly, you can set up goals for other ecommerce metrics, such as:

Sales/Revenue: These goals measure revenue and purchase-related targets such as total sales, highest sold single units, and others.

Acquisition: These goals measure user acquisition, such as leads and sign-ups on landing pages.

Inquiry: Inquiries measure business requests like people asking for a sample or more details about a product.

Engagement: Engagement goals measure things like views, impressions, and clicks on digital media like images and videos.

Apart from these four basic goals, you can also create custom goals to measure specific ecommerce events, sales performance, or transactional data.

That’s it. This is exactly how you successfully set up Google Analytics ecommerce tracking.

Let’s get you started with using analytics for your ecommerce website.

How To Use Google Analytics For Ecommerce?

Once you’ve set up ecommerce tracking, you’ll have access to a wide range of data.

But you need to enable ecommerce tracking to get started.

Now, Google Analytics ecommerce tracking comes with two options:

1. Basic ecommerce tracking

Basic ecommerce tracking gives you basic ecommerce data and allows you to track revenue and transaction data, e.g., total revenue generated, the number of items sold, etc.

How To Turn on Basic Ecommerce tracking?

Step 1: Inside your Google Analytics dashboard, click Admin

Step 2: Find the View column and select Ecommerce Settings

Step 3: Turn on the switch/toggle opposite to Enable Ecommerce

2. Enhanced ecommerce tracking

As the name suggests, Enhanced ecommerce tracking offers detailed ecommerce reporting. You can access detailed ecommerce reports on user behavior and customer journey. For instance, you can track checkout behavior and see if a customer went to the checkout page and completed the purchase or not.

Similarly, you can track the most commonly used payment methods on your online store, the most-clicked products, and various data related to ecommerce transactions.

The most commonly viewed key metrics are:

  • Campaign views/clicks
  • Product views/click
  • Product detail page views
  • Product revenue
  • Shopping cart additions/changes/abandonment
  • Refund requests
  • Average order value (AOV)
  • Coupon code activity and other key insights

How To Turn On Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking?

Complete these steps first if you’re using Shopify.

Step 1: Inside Shopify admin panel, click Settings.

Step 2: Then go to Apps and sales channels page and click Online Store.

Step 3: Click Open sales channel and hit Preferences

Step 4: Under Google Analytics, check the box opposite to Use Enhanced Commerce

Step 5: Click Save.

Now Shopify can send all of your transaction data from its ecommerce platform to Google Analytics ecommerce tracking.

Step 6: Inside your Google Analytics dashboard, click Admin

Step 7: Find the View column and select Ecommerce Settings

Step 8: Turn on the switch/toggle opposite to Enable Enhanced Ecommerce

Step 9: Click Save.

Great! You’ve successfully set up enhanced ecommerce tracking for your online store.

Now, you can access detailed ecommerce reports like shopping behavior, product performance, purchase funnel, and cart abandonment.

Let’s look at some essential ecommerce reports for ecommerce businesses.

Mandatory Reports For Ecommerce Tracking In Google

Tracking ecommerce analytics can be tricky for beginners because Google Analytics offers a sea of ecommerce data.

With enhanced ecommerce data at your disposal, you can customize Google Analytics reports in hundreds of ways.

However, to keep things simple, let’s get you familiarized with basic ecommerce metrics for tracking in Google Analytics.

So, Google Analytics ecommerce reports are neatly sorted into the following categories:

1. Real-time

This report section lets you monitor the live website traffic of your ecommerce stores. You can see the people currently browsing your website, their demographics, and their on-site activity.

How to access it?

Go to the navigation menu on the life side of your Google Analytics dashboard and click Real-time. You may also use the drop-down menu to see detailed information, including:

  • Traffic Sources
  • Page Events
  • Locations
  • Conversions

Benefits:

Real-time reporting makes it super-easy to track data in Google Analytics for ecommerce!

  • You can get a live view of your website during sales and other important events like holidays.
  • You can measure the instant impact of marketing campaigns like Facebook ads, emails, or influencer posts.

2. Acquisition

Acquisition reports offer an ecommerce overview report of the locations, campaigns, and marketing channels that are helping you “acquire” traffic and sales.

This section gives you three types of reports.

Acquisition Overview: This report gives you a summary of traffic and revenue data.

User Acquisition: This report tells you about new first-time users from different channels.

Traffic Acquisition: This section highlights traffic from new and repeat customers.

All of these ecommerce analytics together highlight key metrics such as users, sessions, engagement rate, total revenue, event count, conversion rate, and many others.

Plus, you can go even deeper and track different traffic sources, such as referrals and websites linking to your store.

Benefits:

  • Track the highest traffic-driving sources and focus marketing efforts on them.
  • Track websites linking to you and create more such opportunities.
  • See how different channels drive traffic, conversions, and revenue.

3. Engagement

Engagement reports indicate how visitors interact with your website. You can track user activities like scrolling, clicking specific sections, and many more.

Some of the key engagement metrics you can track are:

  • Views
  • Event count
  • Unique scrolls
  • Average engagement time

Benefits:

  • These metrics can help you create better design and content to engage users and enhance engagement sessions.
  • Monitor daily, weekly, and monthly activities to closely monitor your content performance.

4. Monetization

As ecommerce business owners, this might be the most important section for you.

The monetization tab gives you ecommerce purchase reports with useful user information like:

  • Type and quantity of the products they buy
  • Transactions they complete on your website, including information on shipping and individual purchases
  • Time taken to complete a purchase after the first point of contact

Moreover, you can dig deeper into these reports and track particular metrics for each item, such as:

  • Item views
  • Add-to-baskets
  • Basket-to-view rate
  • Purchase-to-view rate

Why is this useful?

Benefits:

  • Know which products bring the most revenue.
  • Identify possible friction points that keep items in the cart for longer.
  • Decide if you’d like to offer discounts based on revenue or products per transaction data.

5. Attribution Reports

Attribution reports don’t offer immediate value, but they’re highly valuable once you start with your marketing campaigns. How?

These reports have two sub-sections.

Conversion Path” highlights users’ engagement with your ads and all marketing efforts. It essentially tells you where, when, and how a user interacted with your ad and made a purchase.

This is especially helpful when you have multiple marketing channels and want to see which one works best – this is what the second subsection or tab, “Model Comparison,” shows you.

Benefits:

  • Compare all marketing strategies and focus on the most effective one.
  • See your customers’ buying journey and make the experience even better.

Other Reports

Besides these five crucial and insightful reports, tracking in Google Analytics lets you track three more critical metrics.

Retention: This report indicates your website’s returning customers and how they engage with your content. Plus, it also highlights their purchase behavior, so you can target them again.

Demographics: This report highlights basic yet insightful customer data and offers a complete behavioral overview based on location, age, gender, and language.

Tech: This section tells you details about your visitors’ tech stack; you can know about their devices, internet browsers, and even their screen sizes.

Besides these reports, you can also customize the reports according to your goals and track specific metrics.

For example, if you want to analyze your SEO strategy, you can easily track new users who found your ecommerce site through organic search. Or, if you wanted to compare two audiences from two different countries, you could do that as well.

That’s the power of ecommerce tracking in Google!

Overall, this incredible tool offers endless possibilities, given that you know how to use Google Analytics.

Can’t get your head around it? Or too busy to learn? We’ve got your back.

Our ecommerce services can take care of all your tracking needs. Get in touch and see how we can help you scale your business!

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