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Ecommerce and Retail

How to Set up Google Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics, Plus 4 Reports to Optimize Your Website

Understanding exactly what shoppers are doing on your site (and why they are leaving) is just a few steps away with Google Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics. We'll show you how.

If you’re running an ecommerce store, then you are probably well aware that even the smallest of adjustments to your website or product pages can make a big difference to sales. But sometimes working backwards to understand why a particular product is selling better than others, or where in the customer journey shoppers are dropping off isn’t so straightforward. And if you’re trying to optimize your site without this information in hand, then you’re going in blind.

Which begs the question,

how do you get ecommerce data that will provide a deeper understanding of the inner workings of your store?

Your first thought might be our trusty friend, Google Analytics (GA). True, out of the box, GA’s ecommerce tracking does give you a great deal of good data to help you understand your site and performance, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Unless, that is, you enable their best kept secret, Google Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics.

Google Analytics vs. Google Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics

In Google Analytics you can use goal completions to track metrics like impressions, conversions, transactions, product revenue, and even ROI. These goals are usually triggered when the customer visits a thank you or success page once they’ve purchased, with ‘purchase’ being the key agent in this equation.

Google Enhanced Ecommerce, on the other hand, is an advanced (and free!) feature you can switch on in GA that allows you to track what happens on your site before the shopper purchases, and also what happens when they don’t purchase. This helps you to better understand what your customers are doing in your store so that you can optimize your site for engagement, clicks and conversions.

Why Use Google Enhanced Ecommerce?

Enhanced Ecommerce is for retailers and ecommerce marketers looking to go a step further with their analytics and really dig deep into the customer journey and sales funnel to inform user experience (UX) and marketing activities.

Here’s why you would want to use it:

  1. Analyze how different elements of your website like product lists, banners and category pages are performing and optimize them.
  2. Understand shopping behaviour and your checkout funnel—where shoppers drop off and why.
  3. Automate remarketing and lower ad spend.
  4. Identify any problems and fix them!

Plus, it’s completely free and doesn’t take long to set up if you’re already running GA and Google Tag Manager (GTM). Here’s how to set it up.

How to Switch on Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics

The first step is preparing your Google Analytics account to receive this enhanced ecommerce tracking data from your site.

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Select Admin from the menu in the lower left corner.
    Switch on Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics
  3. In the View column, click Ecommerce Settings.
  4. Click the Enable Ecommerce and Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting toggles so that they are on.
    Switch on Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics

Once you’ve enabled this feature in GA, the next step is to push data from your website into GA. The exact process for doing so will be a bit different depending on which ecommerce platform you use. We recommend checking out Google’s Developer Guide to set it up, or if you’re using Neto, check out our easy to follow guide.

Note that once you’ve set everything up, the enhanced ecommerce data can take up to 48 hours to appear in GA.

Four Enhanced Ecommerce Reports

There are a number of different reports in Enhanced Ecommerce to help you understand the activity and performance across your products, product categories, and checkout. But today, we’ll be looking at four of the most valuable reports to get started with in Enhanced Ecommerce.

1. Product List Performance

Enhanced Ecommerce can track how many products are being viewed and how many are being clicked on. More often than not, many retailers don't consider how ordering products on a category page can affect the conversion rate, but it can have a pretty profound effect.

The Product List Performance report will help you understand how the placement of specific products on your pages influence product exposure, clicks, add to cart, and conversions.

A ‘Product List’ might represent:

  • Category pages
  • Search results pages
  • Related product blocks
  • Upsell or cross sell blocks
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For each Product List you can monitor:

  • Product List Views
  • Product List Clicks
  • Product List CTR
  • Product Adds to Cart
  • Product Checkouts
  • Unique Purchases
  • Product Revenue

For your primary dimension you can use Product List Name, Product List Position, Product, or Product SKU, and you can create various segments to drill down on.

To access this report go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Product List Performance.

Google Enhanced Ecommerce Product List Performance

In the example of an arts and crafts store above, we’ve segmented by device, revealing that mobile users are 4% more likely to click on the first product in a list of products than a product in any other position. You can also see that the click through rate (CTR) for desktop users tends to drop the further down the product list you go, indicating that desktop users are not scrolling as much.

Toggle your view to pie chart to see which product place is bringing in the greatest proportion of clicks or views. In this example, the product at ‘0’ place (the first in the list) receives more clicks (15.5%) than the others (not accounting for ‘other’).

Enhanced ecommerce product list performance pie chart

Upsell and Cross Sell Blocks

Do you have any content blocks on your product pages titled ‘related products’, ‘you might also like’, or ‘other customers also bought’? If so, nice work, as additional and complementary products are a key way to increase the value of a sale (and if not, you might want to look into adding them).

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For many retailers these blocks are set and forget, but really you should be constantly monitoring them, because making even small adjustments can mean significant gains. By looking at the CTR of each product in a block, in conjunction with other metrics like list placement and add to cart, you can identify which products perform best and optimize these blocks accordingly.

For example we can see that although the Monte Marte Paint Set has a slightly higher CTR than the Monte Marte Acrylic Medium, the latter actually has a higher number of transactions; therefore this is a better one to place higher in the list.

Enhanced ecommerce product list cross sell

This sort of information gives excellent insight into how you can order your products and whether or not pushing products to the top of a list significantly impacts conversions.

2. Shopping Behaviour

Enhanced Ecommerce can track the behaviour of customers in each session to give you insight into what’s happening in your sales funnel. The Shopping Behaviour report gives you a detailed view of all the actions shoppers have taken on your site. For example, out of those who visited your site you can identify:

  • How many did/didn’t view a product
  • How many did/didn’t add a product to cart
  • How many abandoned the cart
  • How many proceeded to checkout
  • How many abandoned checkout
  • How many completed a transaction

To access this report go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Shopping Behaviour.

Google enhanced ecommere shopping behaviour

In this example we can see that that 38.83% of site visitors clicked to view a product, and of those, 9.62% added a product to their cart. The abandonment rate at this step, as indicated by the red arrow at the bottom is 90.09%. The funnel visualization also accounts for shoppers who abandon and then re-enter the funnel e.g. if a user abandoned their shopping cart but returned in a later session to complete the purchase, indicated by the additional blue horizontal bars in steps 3 and 4.

Tip: Create an audience based on users who add products to their carts and then abandon to target with remarketing campaigns. This will result in much less wasted ad spend.

We can also compare returning visitors against new visitors. In this case, returning visitors are completing almost double the transactions of new users (6.95% vs. 3.14%), thus providing much more value to the business.

This kind of data is incredibly useful as it provides a better idea of how your design and business decisions affect not only sales but also how customers interact with your site.

3. Checkout Behaviour

Similar to session behaviour, Enhanced Ecommerce can also track actions taken on the checkout page so that you can identify any elements that are creating friction and causing shoppers to leave.

The Checkout Behaviour report allows you to actively track and visualize what stages of the checkout customers are progressing through and in which stages they are leaving. Data can be segmented based on each step in the checkout as well as by options like payment method. This allows you to accurately see how customers using different payment methods interact with your store.

Google enhanced ecommerce checkout analysis
Google enhanced ecommerce checkout analysis

You can track as many things in your checkout as you like and name them anything you want, but in this example we’re tracking:

  • Email - this step refers to the confirm email field where users can check a box to be added to a newsletter list.
  • Billing - this step is triggered once a user has entered their billing address.
  • Terms - this step is completed once a user checks a box to agree to terms and conditions.
  • Payment - this step involves selection of a payment method.
  • Transactions - the user has completed the transaction!
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Users can enter the checkout at advanced stages, indicated by the portion above the horizontal blue divide in each column, for example if they are already logged in as a user they would skip the email step, or if they use PayPal to auto-fill the checkout.

Just one of the really important insights in this report is that users who chose Afterpay had a higher abandonment rate than those who chose PayPal.

Related Reading: Afterpay, zipPay and zipMoney: How Buy Now Pay Later Works and Why Retailers Are Going Crazy for It

4. Internal Promotion Data

The Internal Promotion Data report looks at the performance of banners on your website helping you to effectively gauge the performance of different promotions and advertising campaigns. The banner might be a header image promoting a discount, a sidebar banner with an offer, or one of the boxes lower down on your homepage that clicks through to a different section of your site.

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If you’re using a carousel on your homepage, you can also measure clicks against the position in the carousel to see how the position of a banner affects the CTR.

To access this report go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Marketing > Internal Promotion.

Enhanced ecommerce internal promotion data

In this example we can see that the Canvas banner is attracting the highest number of views (3,622) and transactions (12). In contrast, the Acrylic Paint banner has a great CTR (10.25%), but low transactions (1). Optimizing the page that the user lands on after clicking the banner could see improvements to the transactions.

Conclusion

Ecommerce tracking and analytics can be pretty complex and without the right tools in place, decisions made on assumptions, rather than data might lead you in the wrong direction. If you start with these four enhanced ecommerce analytics reports, you’ll be able to understand your customers and their behaviour much better, and make more informed business decisions with regards to your website and marketing.

What’s Next?

To go a step further with ecommerce analytics and understand things like customer lifetime value, inventory and cost of goods sold, you might like to consider an advanced ecommerce analytics platform that brings all of your reporting into one place, like Neto Analytics Studio.

Watch Next: Introduction to Neto Analytics Studio Ecommerce Analytics Platform