Track and Report: a Deep Insight to eCommerce Analytics

2018/07/25 08:00

eCommerce Analytics

How to setup eCommerce Analytics and use it to boost online sales.

Unlike a physical retail store, when you’re running an online store you can’t engage with customers face to face, making it difficult to gauge their reactions, understand which products they’re most interested in and find out whether they’re happy with the service, which is where analytics comes in.

Analytics tells a story, helping you to better understand your customer’s journey and how you can improve your selection of products as well as the customer’s overall experience.

By choosing not to track and report on your store’s performance, you could end up costing your business a lot of time and money over the long term, especially considering the competitive nature of the eCommerce sector.

According to Nasdaq, 95% of purchases will be facilitated by eCommerce by 2040 so if you are already running an online store, this is your chance to truly understand how your customers would prefer to shop and which products they prefer.

Why eCommerce analytics matters

There are a number of reasons why every online store should have analytics installed but the primary reason is of course to boost sales.

By installing analytics, you get to:

  • Analyse customer shopping behaviors. Analytics will give you an overview of how a shopper navigates your website from the landing page to check out.
  • Analyse products. By keeping track of how your products are performing, you’ll be able to optimize your product selection as well as how they’re arranged on your site.
  • Analyse checkout behavior. Since checkout is such an important stage of the customer journey, you want to make sure that it’s easy to complete a purchase.
  • Run tests. Whether you want to A/B test landing pages or want to test out different hypotheses, analytics will help you do that.

How to set up enhanced eCommerce analytics

In order to pull eCommerce-specific analytics reports, you will need to setup enhanced eCommerce, which is a Google Analytics plugin that allows you to track metrics that are specific to online stores.

If you’re already using a platform such as Shopify or Woocommerce, tracking eCommerce metrics becomes a little easier as these platforms are already integrated with Google Analytics.

If not, you will need to be able to insert snippets of code into the header of your website or have a developer who can assist you.

Here are the steps to follow to set up enhanced eCommerce analytics on your site:

  1. Install Google Analytics. In order to setup analytics, you will need to have a Google account. Once you’ve created one, you can navigate to the Google Analytics website and click on the Sign In link in the top right-hand corner of the screen. You will be presented with instructions on how to add your website.
  2. Add the tracking code to your site. Once you’ve added your website as a property on Google Analytics, you can click on the Get Tracking ID button in order to access the code that will need to be added to the header of your site. Once you’ve implemented this snippet, you can add the Enhanced ECommerce plugin by following these instructions.
  3. Enable Enhanced ECommerce. This is the easy part. Once you’ve installed the Enhanced ECommerce plugin, you simply need to enable it in Google Analytics by clicking on Admin > View > ECommerce Settings. Now set the ECommerce status to ON.
  4. Access your analytics. Once you’ve started tracking your eCommerce data, you can access it in the Conversions menu of Google Analytics. If you want to make your data even easier to understand, you can also enter labels for each of the steps in your checkout process as defined in your Enhanced ECommerce tagging.

The Key eCommerce metrics you must look

eCommerce Analytics Metrics KPI

Now that you’ve got your analytics setup, these are the metrics should you be focusing on in order to optimize your site and increase your sales numbers:

Shopping Behaviour

Shopping Behaviour reports will allow you to track what actions were taken during sessions on your site. You can track:

  • The number of sessions that didn’t result in any shopping activity
  • The number of sessions with Product Views that had No Cart Addition
  • The number of sessions with Add to Cart that resulted in Cart Abandonment
  • The number of sessions with Check-Out that resulted in Check-Out Abandonment
  • The number of sessions that resulted in a completed Transaction

If there is a high abandon rate at any of these points in the buying process, it means there is a potential issue that needs to be addressed.

Checkout Behaviour

The Checkout Behaviour report allows you to track each stage of your checkout process to see where shoppers are dropping off and how many are converting. Examples of stages include Billing, Shipping and Payment.

Product Performance

The Product Performance report is where you will find a plethora of insights into your individual products, including:

  • The products that are producing the most revenue
  • Which products are added to cart most often after being viewed (Cart-to-Detail Rate)
  • Which products are being purchased most often after being viewed (Buy-to-Detail Rate)

These details will not only tell what your most popular products are but which product pages are resulting in the most adds to cart and sales so that you can optimize other product pages accordingly.

Sales Performance

The Sales Performance report will provide you with details on your sales and revenue over a defined period of time. What this allows you to do is track how your store is performing year-on-year and whether there are any trends that you need to be aware of.

Product List Performance

The Product List Performance report will help you identify which lists your products are appearing in and how many times a user clicked on a product when it appeared in a particular list, helping you better organize and optimize your store’s categories.


The Marketing report is where you will find insights into your internal promotions as well as which coupons are resulting in the most sales.

Over and above these eCommerce-specific metrics, your acquisition stats are also incredibly important. Knowing how your customers are reaching your website and which traffic sources are resulting in the most revenue will give you a better idea of where you should be focusing your promotional efforts.

How have you been tracking the performance of your eCommerce store to date?