Make better decisions with enhanced web analytics for ecommerce

Posted by Carol on 23/07/14 2:15 PM

As a retailer it's important to understand your buyers shopping habits and at what stage of the purchase funnel they drop off.

Doing so, will help you fix any leaks in your process and help you increase sales.

The problem is that many retailers lack the knowledge, time and resources to understand what the data is telling them.

Fortunately Google has made it a little easier with the launch of enhanced e-commerce analytics.

Enhanced analytics enables retailers to get deeper insights into the performance of their website so that they can make improvements that turn more shoppers into buyers.

What you will learn from the reports in analytics

  • Understand where shoppers get in your shopping funnel and where they drop off.
  • Understand what products are viewed most and which ones are frequently abandoned.
  • Understand conversion rate at a product level.  If conversion rates are low for one product, maybe there is a issue with the product or a disconnect between the message and the product.
  • You will be better able to segment your customers so you can understand purchase behaviour of different segments. For example, you can segment users into those who made a purchase versus those who didn't and what the key differences are between them
  • You will be better able to analyse how internal promotions impact sales and act on the results.
  • Get insight into why some products have missed sales targets.
  • Understand which products have a high refund rate.

The more you understand about your store, the more you will be able to improve your website and improve your conversion rate.

Our favourite reports are the shopping behaviour and checkout analysis reports. Both are visual so give you a quick snapshot into potential problems you may have with your shopping cart.

In the report below, you will can visualise the users experience on your website and determine which parts of the site need improvement both at a site level and product level.

You can see that users moved quickly to the product detail pages. In looking at the report, you can see there was a high cart abandonment rate. This could indicate that the design of the product detail pages need improvement.  This report help to determine which parts of the site need improvement both at a site level and product level.



In the example below, you can see that there is a big drop off at the account sign in stage. From looking at the data, it might be that users are reluctant to create an account with the store. A possible solution would be to test if offering guest checkout improves the drop off rate.

In the report below, also notice there is also a drop off at the payment info stage. This may indicate a problem at this point in the cart. Perhaps the problem is technical, perhaps users don't feel that their payments details are secure. Maybe there is a useability issue on certain devices like a mobile phone. Either way, understanding where the issues are will help you look at this page of your website with fresh eyes so you can uncover any potential roadblocks and take the appropriate steps to correct them.


Besides the new features, analytics can also help you understand:

  • What traffic sources bring in the most revenue, which have the highest conversion rate and which bring in the highest transaction value.
  • How do different marketing channels work together to generate revenue?
  • What channels are under performing?
  • What technology platforms make it harder for users to convert.

Some caveats:

  • You will need to upgrade from classic analytics to universal analytics. While both platforms are free you may need the help of a developer to add in a plugin and make some small coding changes to your website so this can take effect.

As these analytics are relatively new, not all shopping platforms will be able to implement the change immediately without help from a developer. Given the the power of the reports, this is a small price to pay. The sooner you can get insights into shopping behaviour, the sooner you can make improvements to your website.

If you would like to learn more about analytics for ecommerce, what not do this free ecommerce analytics course from Google.

If don't have the time to learn or want to get bogged down in the detail, we can undertake data analysis for you, assist in implementation or even help you develop a measurement plan that works for your ecommerce store.

Topics: Analytics, eCommerce

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